Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Halloween!

For many Craft-0-holics such as myself, Halloween is truly is the most wonderful time of the year. The sweet treats are great, but nothing can top the satisfaction of completing a truly original costume.
Before my son was even born, I had already decided that my boy was going to dress up as Popeye. In doing the research, there were a few variations on the look depending on what era of Popeye you found. I started with a simple black onesie and then sewed the nude arms to the cuffs, tipped in red elastic for easy on-and-off functionality. I stuffed cotton balls between the 2 layers and drew the anchors directly onto the fabric. The hat & collar I simply designed on paper before cutting the fabric. The collar has a snap-front so that I wouldn't have to stretch it over his head. The hat is secured with a thin elastic strap. I wanted to play with scale which is why I made it purposely small & tipped to one side.
My daughter is obsessed with Mary Had a Little Lamb, so naturally I found this store-bought pattern to follow and picked a cotton print that looked somewhat vintage. The hat was purchased at a second-hand store and I added the large ribbon to finish it off. The lamb is secured in her trick-or-treat bucket by the yellow ribbon around it's neck.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ladies Choice

Recently our classic car club, Hell's Belles, had it's annual Pinewood Derby & Silent Art Auction. I'm not quite the wood whittler, so I opted to make a piece to donate for the auction. Rather than a painting or photograph, I wanted to embroider an "illustration". Keep in mind that the final size of this piece was only 4" x 4". Tedious, but a fun challenge.
I started with a layout in Illustrator combining line art, type and a bitmapped photograph. Next I printed the image in black onto iron-on transfer paper (this time NOT reversed, as you usually do for iron-ons). I ironed the image onto the backside of the cotton fabric to be embroidered.
With the right side facing up, the image is ghosted on the fabric surface which makes a perfect guideline for the embroidery. Secondly, the iron-on transfer paper provides a natural stabilizer once applied to the fabric, making it sturdier to work with.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back-to-Cool Labels

When asked to add name labels to my daughter's clothes in preparation for preschool, I imagined a smudged black marker name written sloppily across the back neck. There must be a way to do it better! Then I came up with the idea of combining iron-0n graphics along with an iron-on self-adhesive. I designed the following 2 versions and was quite happy with the results.

I started with a simple design I created in Illustrator. The overall size came out to be approx. 1.5" inches around. Don't forget to REVERSE THE GRAPHICS before you print them out on fabric transfer paper.

I ironed the graphics onto a piece of smooth, soft 100% cotton fabric. Next I ironed a sheet of self-adhesive backing. Cut out the labels in any shape you wish. Finally, I ironed the labels into my daughter's sweatshirts & jackets. I would recommend using a zig-zag or straight stitch to secure the edges. We all know these garments will be washed often.

For more ideas on garment labels, try this simple project - Back-to-Cool Labels - Part II.

Applique hooray!

My son Cooper having a "whale of a time" in his embellished onesie.

Between feedings and naps, I like to find quick and easy crafts for baby. I found this great article on Cookie Magazine's site called DIY Iron-On Onsies. The idea is so simple and it really jazzes up a plain onesie or tee. Great use of leftover fabric scraps too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Car Craft Caddy

Check out my most recent Car Craft Caddy project on Craft Magazine's blog. This step-by-step sewing project will help you organize your projects while you're on the go! It's easy, fun and totally customizable for your creative needs. Read my tips on adjusting the pattern for kid's crafts or airplane travel.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wedding Bells & Birds

Try your hand at my
Bird's Nest Ring Bearer Pillow & Flower Girl Basket

CRAFT magazine's blog ( featured my project today!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cuddly Critters

My next sewing workshop is directed to both Parents & Kids, crafting together. I came up with these 2 plush animals that are not only cute, but easy to construct. The simple shapes are cut from felt, with button eyes and simple embroidery stitches. Add a little dried lavender to the stuffing for a relaxing bedtime buddy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sew Simple Article

Check out Sew Simple Magazine, Volume 12 (pg. 30-33) for my latest article. You've seen this chalkboard placemat project on my blog in the past, but now it's in print! So exciting.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Iron-On & Rock Out!

I can't pass up a good iron-on and with baby #2 just months away, I'm lured to the "embellishment" aisle at the local craft store. I like both the design and flocked fabrication of these swallow iron-ons.I actually bought the iron-on first, then was on a mission for the perfect shirt to use. I think they make a great match!
These foil iron-ons were silly and irresistible. I can't say that I was that impressed with the overall quality of the foil version, but hey, they are ROCK messages for crying out loud!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Diaper Wreath

As I promised, here is the finished Diaper Wreath for the front door at the baby shower. I got this idea from Martha Stewart (of course). It came out great. I used 2 sizes of diapers to make the shape more interesting and tied them to a wire wreath frame. You can pick these up at most craft stores near the wreath supplies. I used 3 colors of ribbon and added various plastic baby trinkets to finish them off (bottles, babies, rattles, etc.). Tie it up with a bow and there you go!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April (Baby) Showers!

My best friend is having her first baby soon so I jumped on the chance to throw her a shower. Being almost 6 months pregnant myself, I'm full of creative energy and have baby on the brain. I designed this "logo" of interlocking hearts based off of their wedding invite then added the baby icon in the middle. Originally I had wanted to print the design on fabric and sew the swatches to the front of the cards. There is a website called Spoonflower that allows you to upload your own designs for custom-printed fabric. Unfortunately the production was delayed and I ended up printing the designs on regular photo paper. When the fabric finally did arrive, I decided to use the swatches to make little lavender sachets as favors for the guests. I really like how they turned out. Stay tuned for pics of the "diaper wreath" I'm making for her front door!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stroller Sack

Recently I had a request to conduct a workshop on sewing stroller sacks. I picked up 1 yard of printed no-pill fleece fabric and grabbed our umbrella stroller. 1 yard was the perfect yardage for our 2-yr-old daughter to fit. Instead of adding zippers on the side seams, I opted to overlap the fabric across the front. It perfectly tucks underneath her body with a closure added. One of the few thing I like about fleece is that the edges won't fray so cutting slits for the straps to come through are very easy & clean. The final result was very stylish, warm, and easy to sew!