Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Bursts of Color

Isn't it fun when kids bring artwork home from school? Suddenly an empty space on the wall or refrigerator has a happy burst of color on it.

I've decided to revert back to my childhood and post my own "artwork" around the house. It makes me happy to see my embroidery fill an awkward hole between photographs...

Or liven up my little kitchen!
Both projects were done on premade canvas frames found in the dollar section at Michaels. I just stitched my design right on to them, and then I had my very own happy bursts of color around my house.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ORANGE you jealous of my retro mod dress??

I missed sewing on my day off last week... kind of.  I missed sewing, but to be honest, I was content with where I was and what I was doing. I was at Alki Beach, 5 minutes from our house (I still can't believe how blessed I am to live in the area that I do) watching Georgia play while thinking of what I'd sew on the next cloudy day.

I've been in the mood for the color ORANGE lately. Such a vibrant, happy, summery color. I ventured to West Seattle Fabric Company a couple of weeks ago and found this retro-looking, mod fabric that I had to have:

I knew that it would be perfect for the vintage 1960's dress pattern I've been wanting to use. And since Saturday turned cool and cloudy, I spent the day making a new dress!  Here is how it turned out...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Teacup Pincushion

I love the daintiness and sweetness of a teacup. Unfortunately, I don't drink much hot tea-- I do drink massive amounts of coffee out of behemoth coffee mugs, but nope-- no tea.  I once saw on a craft blog how you could make a pincushion out of a teacup, so I thought I'd try it. So easy, and so cute!

Step one-- find a pretty little teacup. I found mine at Value Village for 99 cents.

Step two-- trace a circle a bit bigger than the rim of the cup out of a scrap of fabric.  I found this scrap of vintage fabric with a tea-themed print-- how perfect!

Step three-- sew a running stitch around the perimeter of the circle of fabric. Pull the thread to cinch the material, and then stuff with polyfill or whatever type of filling you'd like. Hot glue the stuffed fabric to the inside of the teacup and there you have it-- an adorable, unique pincushion!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Potholder Project

I love my sunglasses.

They are very cute Betsy Johnson cat-eye sunglasses that I bought on clearance from Marshalls. The problem is, because they were from Marshalls, they did not come with a case. And as my fellow Seattleites know, sunglasses are especially hard to keep track of since we go, like, 8 months without needing them. But when we do need them, boy do we ever!

Typically, my sunglasses are loose in my purse, which is really bad for my sunglasses. They always end up with lip gloss, pen marks, or animal cracker crumbs on them.

Other times, I hunt and hunt through my purse for my sunglasses, and they are nowhere to be found. :)

So I came up with a fun solution for where to store my sunglasses! They will still be in my purse (hopefully), but at least now they will be in a cute, vintage-looking case. A case made from a potholder!
I found this bright striped potholder at Target for $1.99. I cut off the little loop and embroidered it with cute looking styles of glasses that I found on the internet.

After I was done with the embroidery, I simply folded the potholder in half and stitched it around 2 sides using my denim needle on my machine.  Voila! A cute sunglasses case that will hopefully keep my lovely glasses safe for a long time to come.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Goodwill has an OUTLET??

My best discovery of the week month year is this: Goodwill has an outlet store!  Did you know that? Am I the only thrift shopper left in Seattle who didn't know that? My kids and I have a favorite word that pretty much sums up this store: WOWZA!  And that can be said in a high-pitched, excited, I-just-spotted-a-designer-print-in-that-bin kind of way, or it can be said in an overwhelmed, slightly creeped out, Georgia-don't-touch-anything-but-Mommy kind of way.

Georgia and I ventured to this store on Monday after finding out that it was just down the way from the Pacific Fabric Outlet. Here is what we saw as we entered the parking lot...

It was as if the sun shone through the clouds down upon the building, and I heard heavenly voices singing...Wowza, I thought!!

And then I walked through the door.... oh, wowza, I thought....

There were lots of people digging, digging, digging-- like, up to their elbows and can't even bother to look around kind of digging.  Classical music was blaring over the loud speakers; I'm guessing this was an attempt to keep everyone calm, because according to the Yelp reviews that I read before I ventured here, people can get a bit crazy and out of control when new bins are rolled out. Most people kept their treasured finds in these huge laundry hamper looking things that wheeled around, but they were all taken when I arrived, so I used an empty Lego bin that I spotted under a table.  I took hold of Georgia's hand, threatened that she would get icky cooties if she sat on the ground or reached into a bin, and then I delved in.  It was a bit scary at first-- after all, I'm used to Value Village, the department store of thrift stores, where things are actually sorted according to size, and are even on hangers.  But somehow, digging through enormous bins of who-knows-what made the search a bit more exciting. When I wrangled a pair of Chip and Pepper jeans out of the depths of dingy blankets and discolored towels, I actually let out a little yelp of excitement and startled the man next to me, who was wearing a trenchcoat and sunglasses and putting used women's underwear into his hamper thingy. (No joke).

And here, my thrifty friends, is the very best part of the Goodwill Outlet: they charge you buy the POUND! That is why you can see hanging scales in the above photograph! For a pound of clothing, you will pay $1.39.

So for the following haul:

an Old Navy shirt and H&M skirt--

A Nike golf shirt and Gap dress shirt for Gareth--

A pair of It Jeans and a cute red rain jacket--

Gap flannel pajama pants and a Victoria's Secret nightgown--

Gymboree jeans and a red gingham shirt--

The prettiest GapKids skirt--

A unique silk scarf that will be embroidered onto a shirt--

PLUS the aforementioned Chip & Pepper jeans, as well as a fancy church dress for Georgia--

I paid a total of $18.82!

It was totally worth it-- I just made sure to douse mine and Georgia's hands with sanitizer in the car, and wash them thoroughly at home. :)

I highly recommend that you google "Goodwill Outlet" to see if you have one in your city... it was a fun adventure, and I can hardly wait to go back and see what I can find next.  Hey, maybe this weekend! I'm sure Gareth would LOVE to go there with me!! ;)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Heart Nautical

Maybe it's because Gareth was in the Navy... or maybe it's because we live on Puget Sound... for whatever reason, I love things with a nautical theme. So when I saw this fabric at the Pacific Fabric outlet, I knew I needed to make a garment from it.

I had been saving this vintage pattern for Spring, and it seemed to be a perfect match for the nautical material. I especially like "View B", or the "pirate girl", as my kids said. "Do the pirate girl one!" was the consensus from all 3, and so I did.

It figures that right after I bashed patterns in my last post, I used a pattern that I totally loved, was very simple, and can't wait to use again. The top took no time at all, and who knew that shorts were so easy to make? Especially with an elastic waistband. I'm not usually a fan of an elastic waistband, but with a longer shirt that covers it up, I guess it is acceptable! :)

And coming soon to Just Five Minutes More...
Potholder projects!