Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ribbon Organizer from a Pants Hanger

Recently, I saw this photo from my life in lowercase on Pinterest and had to absolutely copy it, as my ribbons were an absolute MESS! Celeste has the PERFECT design/craft studio! I'm in love!
I literally had one pants hanger ready to go to Goodwill this morning, but went and fished it out of the pile! I'm so thankful that I didn't give that sucker away! I turned my pants hanger into a ribbon/thread organizer! So clever, thought I would share!

It would work great for any gift wrap ribbon, too! You just pull off the hanger clips and slide everything on! Easy access and you can see everything you have in supply! I love this tip! Thanks, Celeste!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My OTHER Closet of Doom!

Some of you know that Anne totally helped me with my hall Closet of Doom posted on our family blog! I won her organizational contest and she gave me some wonderful tips on keeping things neat and tidy! Well, I hate to break it to you, but I have ANOTHER closet of doom that was lurking for 2+ years that has never been organized since moving in, either!

I finally took the design plunge and got sucked into the pretty picture perfect world of Pinterest. I would say my covetous self is completely in love. I could give you every excuse why it is worth my time OR I could just show you.... the following photo was "pinned" onto my board two days ago. It completely inspired me....sheets stored in their own pillow cases!

If ONLY I could make my linen closet look that nice! Instead, I did have some impovement. I went from this...
To this...

I did put the sheets in their pillow cases, but I have NO idea how to fold my sheets to make them look that nice and not so bulky! At least they ARE more organized and easy to find AND still in their pillow cases! I'm proud to announce that I have one less Closet of Doom in my home!

Thanks for subscribing!
Vanessa


Monday, August 29, 2011

Refinished Sewing Desk: Before & After

Quite some time ago, my mother-in-law found this wicker desk on the side of the road.
She stopped, threw it into the car, and gave it to me proclaiming, "I have the perfect desk for your sewing machine!" She also handed us about 5 bottle of spray paint and a scaper.

It had a veneer top that was really waterdamaged, but underneath was a solid piece of wood. One  man's trash is another DIY's treasure!

Hart went off to a Men's Retreat from church and I decided that I needed to accomplish something on Saturday! I went around the house and decided today was the DAY for working on this desk project!

I scraped and scraped this veneer off and was still working on it several hours later when the hubby came home and stepped in to help finish her off. I found the secret to getting things done around the house...start myself, because then the hubby has to help finish! Ha! No, he really is a great husband, but so often I don't want to start a project, because I want him to have a relaxing weekend, but we realized this weekend that we missed working on things like this together, so our new plan is to attempt some new projects together!

We sanded, caulked, waited, painted and transformed this blah space from this...

To this... my new sewing area in our office/sewing room/musical instrument space/guest room...

What do you guys think?!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to Make a Pillow Sham with Piping

I think this might just be my very first, actual, sewing tutorial EVER! So, get excited! The pillow sham!

The very first thing I actually sewed was a pillow. That grew to making more pillows and then I made some pillows with adding piping edge. This past weekend I finally decided to make a sham for our bed using some fabric I found at Hancock's while searching for fabric for the flip house curtains awhile back!

This is just for ONE sham...double if you are making TWO. You will need:
  • 1 yard of pretty fabric, more if you want the front and back of the sham to have the same fabric
  • 1 yard of plain fabric (for the backing)
  • 2.5 yards of the piping (you want to have enough to go all the way around the pillow...be on the safe side and always have extra)
  • fabric scissors or rotary cutter
  • pins, thread, sewing machine
  1.  Use your existing sham as a pattern and reference. Measure it and measure your pillow. In general you want to cut your fabric to the size of your pillow because it will look fuller. Mine was a King Size pillow that was 20 x 36 finished size, so I added 1 inch for the hem, but looking back I should have just cut it to the size of the finished pillow, so it wouldn't be so baggy. I just hate it when I cut things too small!
  2.  Next measure the back of your pillow sham. You are going to want the back two pieces to overlap at least 5 inches, so that your pillow won't come through. I overlap mine more... I guess I'm a cautious seamstress!
I measured two pieces that were 22 inches. I added 3 inches, so I would have a good overlap in the back. You should end up with one piece of fabric 37 x 21 inches (front piece) and two pieces of 25 x 21 inches (back pieces).
Cut out all pieces of fabric.
Next, cut out your strips for the piping. To find out how much fabric you need, wrap the fabric over the piping and cut a small slit. You will need at least 3 strips of the longest side of the remaining fabric to go around the piping cord.

Next sew together your piping strips. You can do it on the bias, but it will look fine if you just sew all your pieces together. Press seam flat.

Alright, now that everything has been cut out...iron down your hems on the back two pieces. Fold 1/2 inch, then fold again, so you get a nice crisp hem to sew on.
Sew your hems down.  I double top stitched mine, since I like a nice wide hem. I think it just looks better. HINT: If you want to double top stitch on both sides, then, press the MIRROR button on your sewing machine to move your needle right and left to sew closer to the fabric edge on the left or right side. Then your fabric can be ran right along the side of the foot as a guide to keep things straight. Just make sure you move it back to the left for the other side. Reverse sew on both ends of the fabric.


Like this...
Attaching the piping: If you have never attached piping before, you might want to practice on something and watch some you tube videos on it, first. It's a lot easier to watch a video than look at pictures, but I will try to explain!

Wrap your fabric around your piping cord and pin to the right side of your front piece of fabric.
Leave some space at the top of the cord, maybe 1 - 2 inches. You will need a little space at the end when closing the fabric up around the cord.

I have learned when doing piping that I actually prefer to use my regular foot when attaching the piping to the front piece of fabric and then using my zipper foot later when sewing all the pieces together, but you can use the zipper foot both times if that is easier for you as you guide the piping on. I think this is what most people do.

Now, you need to just sew your piping onto your front pillow fabric. Feed it nice and slow through and onto the fabric. Some prefer to sew their fabric strip around the piping cord first, then attach the fabric wrapped piping to the pillow fabric, but I just sew mine right in as I go. Do what you like, just sew it onto the right side of the fabric and end up with it like this...
When going around the corners, you can cut little notches to help turn the fabric easier, if need be.

When you get to the end of the where the other cord end is, cut your cords off so that the ends meet. Then, tuck a little bit of fabric under on both ends and overlap one side over the other and sew down. Watch this SailRite video if you haven't a clue what I am talking about here.

Lay your remaining back fabric pieces on top of the front fabric, keeping right sides together and overlapping the pieces to create the envelope back. Pin everything down.

Sew all the way around the edge of the fabric pieces. Turn right sides out. Stuff with a pillow and SHAM-WOW! You just did it! 
 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Baby Boy Pajama Pants.... or are they scrubs?

I really wanted to order the Made by Rae Big Butt Baby Pants to try out! Still do! However, this girl is kind of on a budget AND a little impatient and I had in my head that I wanted to make some pajama pants for Cai right THEN! That led me to thinking... how hard can it be to sew some pajama pants for a baby?  

Well, a little harder than I had thought! I haven't ever put in an elastic waistband OR made any kind of pants EVER, so um...I totally ended up with 2 crotches at first AND got mad at these pants when I wasn't paying attention to the embroidery the machine was doing and it snagged in some material that I had to seam rip out. I hate seam ripping, but it is what produces ongoing growth in the fruit of the Spirit aspect of my life, so I patiently sit and rip out those tiny seams all while telling the pants how much I hate them!

They turned out kind of cute, despite the errors I made, and I figure...they are just for sleeping, so who cares!

I like how Rae adds in an extra portion of fabric over the diaper area. I didn't do any of that....I was too busy trying to figure out how to sew together these pieces, but I can see the advantages of her way, for sure! Plus, we cloth diaper at times and the extra room would be nice!
My model wouldn't sit still, so I had to be quick with my lame camera!

I added some piping to the bottom of the pants and rolled them up to have the cuff look.





Paging Dr. Cai...do they look a little scub-ish?

My machine came with this sailboat PES file. I've been wanting to try it out. This was as big as the file would go. Totally lame, but still kind of cute! Then, I just embroidered "Sail Away with me" on the other side to finish the sailboat theme! What do you think?

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Sewing Mood + Cute Patterns

Sorry, I haven't been in a blogging mood. I've actually been in a sewing mood! Watch out, people! I don't much time this week to sit down and work, but I have been busy searching Etsy for some patterns that I want to try out! 

Here are some that I am literally dying to try out!

ChicksandEggs has this adorable soft shoe PDF pattern that I will most likely be trying to sew soon!

I'm pretty sure I would make mine to look something like this though (from WEEPEREAS)
Footloosefancyfree has a little boy's Jon Jon PDF pattern that I want to try for Cai's 1st birthday outfit! I want to embroider a DOG on it for his PAW-ty!
I also want to try out making Cai some pajama bottoms using the Made By Rae pattern for the Big Butt Baby Pants PDF Pattern.
If you have a little girl, I think Up and Away has some cute patterns you could use, too!

Do you have a pattern you have been wanting to try!? Please share! I'm always looking for cute ideas!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Paper Bead Necklaces from Uganda

I have another way for you to help out our current adopting family, the Gerlachs! They are in the middle of an adoption process to adopt the MOST precious little boy from Africa. I honestly wish I were allowed to post a picture of him on this blog, because literally, every single one of you would buy as many necklaces that your budget would allow if you could see him! He is an adorable 17 month old that is waiting for a court date in Africa! I can post this one of Carla and the back of this little one's head! Ha!

You can pray that their courts and lawyers will act quickly, because it has been a very long drawn out process for this family. They know that it is in God's perfect timing, but are ready for their date! They currently still need $5,000 for travel! They had a friend bring back 70 necklaces from Uganda to do some fund raising for the remaining costs of their adoption! I want to help them raise it all and I need YOU dear readers to help, too! Let me introduce you to these beautiful Paper Bead Necklaces from Uganda!

 
 


All of these necklaces are hand made by Ugandans. I have two and I honestly can wear them with EVERYTHING! I love all the colors and shapes of the beads!

If you love them as much as I do, here is a message from Carla on how to order one (or two or three) for your friends. They would be perfect Christmas presents for co-workers, too!

Carla says:

Necklaces are $15 each or 2 for $27! (Shipping is $3 if needed)
We are waiting for a court date to bring home our 17 month old from Uganda and we still need about $5,000 for travel! We are doing some creative fundraising but we also have complete confidence that the Lord is going to provide!

Our blog paypal address is
http://ccgug.wordpress.com​/donateorpay/ ---just put your name, email address, and color choice in the subject line!

There is also an option to order the Hooded Towels that Carla makes on her blog, too!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fruit of the Spirit Hemstitched Towels & More Baby Legs

A client asked me to embroider three hemstitched towels with three fruits of the Spirit on each one! I LOVED the idea, but was SO nervous that I would mess one of these up! I mean the likelyhood that I could get them all lined up so perfectly was by God's grace alone! I prayed through each one. Yelled to Hart in the other room to pray. And here they are.... an embroidery miracle for you to enjoy!

They really do make an awesome gift or are perfect for your guest bathroom! If you are looking for a great price on Hemstiched towels visit this shop.
Before I left for Memphis, I monogrammed these bloomers to this adorable Old Navy outfit! I wish I could claim that I embroidered the front on the shirt dress, too! It's so pretty!

And I sewed some more Baby Legs and embroidered some plain white onsies for the explosion of babies being born in my life right now. I'd like to call this my "Crawler Set". There is nothing cuter than sticking your cute little crawler in some baby legs and a onsie and letting them scaddadle across the floor!


Whimsy font w/pink stripped baby leg:

Whistle font w/blue stripped baby leg (the above and below two babies already have an arranged marriage - really their mother's are best friends- so I thought they needed coordinating onsies):

And then, of course, Sweet Nola (font - Run Script), who is actually coming for a visit VERY soon! Can't wait to hold that little girl again!

Font close ups... I just love how this one looks like it's hand embroidered! I usually go over it twice with this font, so that it is darker.




For the client: As always, let me know if you need to embroider anything and if you are an embroidery lover like me, then just enjoy the fun!

For the embroidery lover: If you ever want to embroider a onsie, the trick is to NOT use Gerber onsies. They are too small and they are too thin. These onsies are Carter's brand 9 - 12 m. The other important trick is to use at least TWO sheets of stabilizer material and make sure you stretch the onsies really well over the hoop. Make sure you have the right needle in your machine. I used the Gold colored needle for stretchy fabrics, your manual should have a page that tells you which needle to use for which types of fabric. Email me if you have questions about that.