Sunday, November 29, 2009

Apple Picking

Ni Hao, Kai Lan is one of the little Piggie's favorite TV shows on Nick Jr. It's like Dora except it teaches viewers Chinese! In a recent episode, there's some apple picking. I haven't seen it, but I keep hearing her say she's picking apples. I was so inspired by the felt house that Jill made on her blog, I wanted to make a less detailed version on a wall hanging version for Piggie to pick apples. Joann's had an after Thanksgiving sale on felt for $1.99/yd. I picked up some and put together this.

The apples, bird and owl are attached with velcro, so she cam pull them off and re-arrange. I'll attach a wooden rod at the top and hang off the door handle or from the linen closet doors.

Here's some close ups:

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quited Christmas Stockings

I'm making Christmas stockings this year for all of us.  I need to get it done before the G-man arrives.  According to the doctor, I could be delivering any day now!  During Joann's Doorbuster after Thanksgiving sale, they had 50% off coupons on regular priced items.  I picked up some double quilted fabric in burgundy and light green.  I'll be making 2 of each color and 2 sizes.  I found a template on Martha Stewart's website I liked...Poinsettia Fringe-Cuff Stocking.  I blew up the template to 400% to make the small stockings.  The large ones were free handed increased in side approximately 1.5 inches.  I trimmed them with cream colored double sided quilt.

Art Case

I came across this tutorial on This Mama Makes Stuff and bookmarked it for gifts to kids.  This is going to be a birthday present for a 3yr old, I modified it by shrinking it down.  My finished project measures 6 x 9 where as the original tutorial gives you something in the neighborhood of 8 1/2 x 11.  I reduced the regular piece to 9 1/4 x 26.  The inside panels are 5 1/2 instead of 8, 6 vs 9 and 3 vs 4 inches.  You'll understand when you download the tutorial.  I skipped on the pocket too since my case is so small, you really can't put much in the pocket. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Personalized Baby Shirts

With a little less than 4 weeks more to go, I wanted to tackle a couple projects for my little guy. This was a quick and easy way to personalized plain white side snap shirts. I did the first one with his initial. The second one is just a ribbon trim. I don't like the way the zig zag turned out on the initial one. I think in the future I'll iron on applique it first and then top stitch around it.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

My Parisian Dress

I made this darling little fall dress from the My Parisian Dress pattern by ManiMina on She has some really adorable PDF patterns on sale. I made this one from corduroy that I thought to be appropriate for Fall/Winter. It's a size 2. However, my little Piggie is very petite, so it's still large for her. She kinda swims in it right now. So, I think this will be a Christmas present for Gracie. Maybe I can shrink down the pattern a little bit for it to fit her now. Otherwise, I'll make it out of 2 tone linen (blue and grey) as a Spring dress for her. The top pic is the front and the back is below. If you're a beginner at sewing, this is a very easy pattern to follow along. I know I'll be making variations of this dress for years to come : )

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Modified Coffee Cozy

I made this coffee cozy for my sister's boyfriend. Although the prior one I made for her is cute, I thought he might want something a little more manly to use. I simply used 1 inch Velcro instead of a button to hold the flaps together. It's still adjustable without looking too cute. I used left over scraps from the crib bumper and baby burper projects.

Update:  It appears that cozy isn't wide enough to simply use velcro in place of a button.  At least not a fit for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf cups.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 09

The Piggie really enjoyed Halloween this year, she woke up this morning wanting to go out trick or treating again!

I was worried that she wouldn't go to sleep after last night's sugar rush, but fortnuately she fell asleep in the car on the drive back from my parents house. We had to hide the pumkin because all she wanted to do was eat the chocolate.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Refinished Dresser

Here's my first refinishing project. I used to watch Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic in college and loved the idea of salvaging something old and ugly and bringing it back to life with a coat of paint. As I got older, I grew out of Shabby Chic. Now in need of more storage space and not wanting to spend on buying another piece of's my solution. I was trolling Goodwill and Salvation Army for a well made sturdy dresser that I can refinish on the cheap - my budget was $10-20. No luck there, no vertical dressers only horizontal ones. Then my neighbors moved out and left this out. We wiped down the entire dresser inside and out, slapped a water based primer (Valspar Multipurpose) on it and 3 coats of "green" (zero VOC) semi-gloss paint (Olympic). The work was done on the patio and dried in a day since Tues was exceptionally hot and we waited for each coat to dry before applying the next. Primer and paint cost $20 total. I still have 3/4 of the primer left and 1/2 of the paint for future projects. The knobs cost $8. So for less than $30 we have a sturdy well made dresser that looks fab. Ikea would have been the other option, except the drawers tends to bottom out and I wanted something a little more durable.

Initially I wanted to decoupage the top with a graphic print yellow fabric or paper, but I haven't found anything yet.  I'll probably line the inside of the drawers with some fun kids wrapping paper Lisa left at my house from last Xmas.

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Fletcher's Shirt

Ta dah! It fits like him prefect! I've had some trouble with making my first button up shirt...don't know if you recall my prior postings about the frustration and then the completed shirt. Fletcher came over last Sat morning with it on. I can't tell you the joy of seeing another child wearing something I made.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Iron On Vinyl

If you haven't done so, iron on vinyl is super fun to work with.  You can transform any fabric into waterproof vinyl!  I got mine from Joann's by Therm O Web.  It comes in a roll 17' x 2yds.  I don't know what happened to the changing pad we used to have.  I used this to make a replacement.  All I did was cut fabric and batting 14 x 24.  I used 2 different fabrics so I know which side I use for child and which for icky surfaces.  Iron on the vinyl before sewing.  Pin batting, fabric 1 with vinyl side up and fabic 2 with vinyl side down.  Stitch all around leaving approximately 2 inches gap to turn inside out.  Then top stitch all around again.  I didn't bother with putting any closures on it, since it travels in the diaper bag.  Here's some not so great pics:

Some other suggestions for projects: bibs, make up bags, placemats, coasters, book covers, lunch bags...endless!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dresser Makeover - Planning Stage

My neighbors moved out last week and left a dresser outside for the taking.  I happen to see it on Friday morning after a night of no sleep.  I went to bed at 9pm and woke up at 12.  I couldn't fall asleep until well after 3am and woke up again at 6am!  At 32 1/2 weeks along...mother nature is in full swing of training for those sleepless nights when the little guy arrives.  Anyway, I was totally amped to find the dresser outside.  I've been checking out craigslist, Goodwill, Salvation Army and garage sales for something low budget that I can re-vamp.  I liked what Jill made on her blog for her son.  I also liked the decopage ideas from Mintage Home.  I picked up this pretty little number with chipped enamel on the top, lovely stickers on the drawers and funky stains on the sides.  But I think with a coat of white semi gloss paint to match with the rest of the furniture in Piggie's room, and maybe some decorative yellow graphic print decopaged on top, it would turn out to be a gem. 

I'm going to attempt to clean the drawers this week and work on getting the stickers off.  Then possibly prime and paint on Sunday.  I'll post pics of before and after when I get it done.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fancy Curtians

My first attempt at real curtains turned out pretty good. In my prior post, I had picked up fabric at an outlet for $2/yd. I purchased 6 yds after tax it was about $13, then the curtain rod was $24.99 and 2 sets of curtain rings at $2.99/pack. They didn't have thread to match the material, so I went to Joann's and paid $2.95 for it. Total damage = approximately $50 including hardware...not so bad for somewhat fancy looking curtains. I've mastered blind hemming after doing 2 panels, 4 sides each. My learning experience here is that I should measure the bottom hem after it's hanging on the curtain rod every 5-6 inches across. It turns out my cuts where not exactly squared, so my ends were a little shy of touching the floor. It's ok, I don't think anyone will notice. I still have some left over fabric. I'm thinking there's enough to use as decorative trim on a basic white or cream duvet and maybe even a cover for a lumbar pillow I have.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Plum Upside Down Cake

I saw this recipe in one of my old issues of Real Simple on Friday night.  It looked easy, so I gave it a go last night.  It WAS easy!  This will be my signature holiday dessert for this fall...if I get invited anywhere that requires bringing something.  I couldn't wait to taste this before I got a picture of it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Coffee Cup Cozy

I made this coffee cup cozy for my sister at her request so that you can be more environmental friendly and re-use this instead of the paper sleeves from coffee shops.  I used this tutorial.  What's nice is that there's an elastic loop so it's adjustable to various cup sizes.  I was going to but her initial on it, but decided it's just too busy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Home Work

The hubby has complained about the fact that the faux wooden blinds that came with the house does not do a good enough job of blocking out the light since we moved in over 2 years ago.  I found a "Fabric Outlet" store in Santa Ana last week on Bristol that sell fabrics for home decor at $1 - $6.99 per yard.  That's a steal compared to Joann's.  I picked up this lovely cream and gray heavy weight fabric at $2/yd.  I'll make simple curtians to hang with clips in our room.  I also picked up a curtian rod for $24.99 in brushed silver to go with the hardware on our bedroom furniture.  What ever is left over I'll use to make some pillow covers.

I came across another blog this week that I will be visiting on a regular basis - Centsational Girl.  She's got great ideas for the home.  I love this DIY tutorial for a padded head board and this one for a roman shade.

I've been reading online that black out curtians are great for not only keeping the light out but also insulating.  I've got old 70s metal windows that are far from energy efficient, but don't have the budget to upgrade them yet.  The Piggie does not like we have her sleep in blanket sleepers.  But these days she no longer wants to be in her toddler bed and opts for the day bed that's right up against the window.  I purchased some black out curtian at $4.99/yd (seemed like a good deal) at the same fabric store mentioned above.  The problem is that it's 2 inches shy of covering the window once hung on clips.  I was struggling on if I should make a complete new set of curtians and line them with the black out, but once I priced out the cost of the fabric...I decided I needed another alternative.  Solution:  I used some left over fabric from another project and attached 7 inches across the top of the panel.  I hung it with clips.  It just looks like any other white curtian with a brown strip across the top.  During the day we pull the curtians all the way to one side.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hawaiian Shirt Success

Ah ha!  Success is mine finally.  I called Simplicity this morning and had to leave a message.  They called me back and was not at all helpful.  The lady on the phone insisted that the pattern measurements were right and that there should be no puffing.  Obviously I had problems, that's why I had to call them.  Anyway, I went to bug my neighbor seamstress and she saved the day!  She showed me how to trial and error reduce the pattern by laying the original and down on a folded piece of paper and cutting it down.  Ultimately after 3 tries, we (she) got it.  This is what I had to work with this afternoon:

The rest of the pattern to finish off the project was fairly straight forward.  I thought the button holes and buttons would be tricky, but it turned out pretty easy.  Here's my finished product:

Although the b-day boy is turning 1, I sized this for 18 months...that way he can grow into it.  I didn't want to risk making it too small and being a waste of my effort.  I saved my pattern so that I can make one in the future of our little guy : )  Now I'm looking for a hoodie that I can applique one of these Woody cars to the side of.  I think it would compliment this nicely.  I went to Target yesterday and didn't find anything.  Any suggestions?

Still Plugging Away

Any sense of confidence built by Sat's triumph with the Piggie's Hawaiian dress was completed destroyed by yesterday.  I picked up Simplicity's New Look 6880.  The pattern was terribly hard to read and understandy compared to the See & Sew ones.  Further more I was sooooo annoyed and disappointed that the sleeves have a puff in them even tho the pictures on the pattern instructions and the envelople clearly does not.  I can't give a boy a Hawaiian shirt with puff sleeves!  Are you kidding me!  If anyone hows how to convert a puff sleeve to a regular flat sleeve...please help!  The party's this Sat.  I'm going to my seamstress neighbor's today and hope that she'd be kind enough to show me.  Look at this mess after literally hours trying to understand and redo the sleeve...still no final product produced.

Mini Fashionista

I'm loving this skirt that Suri Cruise is wearing posted by a friend in her blog.  The Piggie's getting one before spring rolls along. 

From JustJared.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hawaiian Dress

We have a Hawaiian themed party next weekend where we've been asked to dress accordingly. Hilo Hattie that used to be at the Block in Orange is no longer there. It is very difficult to find any island themed dresses this time of the year. The Piggie has a dress but it's way too was a gift from a friend in Kauai when she was born...maybe size 6mos. It seemed a little silly to pay $30+ to order something online and risk it not fitting properly. I figured I could make something instead. I picked up See & Sew pattern #3889 at Joann's for $2.99 last night. I'm new to sewing by a pattern, since I'm self taught and haven't learned how to read them properly. This one was actually fairly easy to read. I bought this pretty blue island print fabric at M&L in Anaheim for $3.89/yd...I picked up 1.5 yds before I found this pattern. I worked on the dress this morning and I think it took me about 2-3 hours. The end result is pretty darn good. Looks better than some of the dresses I've seen even in high end retail stores. The sizing runs a little big. I went with the 2, but I think it's more true to a 3. It's too big for the Piggie now. This afternoon, I used the left over materials and made a second dress reducing the bodice width by 20% and the skirt length by about 30%. It's a much better fit. I'd guess it's probably 18mos - 24 mos. I've very pleased with how it turned out and am starting to feel more confident tackling other patterns.

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Finished Minnie

I finally finished Piggie's little Minnie Mouse costume for Halloween. I've added a bib attached with ruffles and criss cross straps to help hold the skirt up. Plus I kinda winged it with a terrible rendition of's too short! But it will do. I think she'll look adorable once we get a black long sleeve shirt and tights on underneath all this. She loves it. She wants to wear it to Minnie's house when we go to Disneyland for her 2nd birthday. I think it's kinda over the top to be dressed up...but I see kids there all the time dressed up.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Peanut Shell Baby Carrier

I found a great tutorial online for making your own pouch or peanut shell baby sling/carrier.  Why pay $30+ when you can make it to your own specifications for a fraction of the price.  It only took me about 1 hour of cut and sewing time.  It'll probably take less time when I make a second one.  I made the reversible version one with brown/yellow/and green floral print on one side and brown/yellow/olive dot on the other side.  I tried it on for size last night.  Even at 7 mos preggo, I can wear the Piggie on my hip!

***Update - here's a recent picture of me using the sling:


I've been meaning to make my sister an apron since she moved into her new place. Finally decided to go through my scraps and see what I can pull together for her. It was kinda hard since I'm 7 mos pregnant and had to guess on measurements. This was left over from a baby blanket I made the Piggie last year. I just happen to have 1 horizontal and 1 vertical piece left. I simply attached the 2, added ruffles and used ribbon for ties. The ruffles came from the excess I cut off for Piggie's sheer curtains in her room. My sister loves it!

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