Thursday, December 26, 2013

Project Journal: 2013 Christmas Jammies

Completed: December 2013

Boy Jammies:
Pattern: Simplicity 3584, Style C
Materials: Christmas Moose flannel and Circle Dots Red Snuggle Flannel from Joann Fabrics. 
Notes: This was my first time using an actual paper pattern. Once I figured out the markings and terminology the process was fairly straightforward. There were a lot of steps, way more than I'm used to, but the instructions were usually fairly easy to understand. I did get a little confused attaching the collar. I'm super happy with how they turned out. I used existing jammies that I knew fit to determine the pattern size. I'm glad I did because his measurements called for a larger size, but the jammies lined up with smaller markings on the pattern. I went with the smaller size and they fit him perfectly. Although to be fair he's extremely hard to measure..
Pattern changes: I added the cuffs using the pillowcase technique before I attached the legs and sleeves. The cuffs are each folded over with the single layer pant or sleeve sandwiched in the middle. I then obviously ignored hemming instructions for the sleeves and pants.

Girl Nightgown:
Pattern: Long Sleeve Toddler Peasant Dress Tutorial from Little Bean Workshop
Materials: Holiday Inspirations Christmas Reindeer Stripe Flannel and Houndstooth Purple Snuggle Flannel from Joann Fabrics.
Notes: This project was super simple and easy, especially following the other jammies. I completed the entire thing in one evening. I bought a yard of the reindeer fabric and 1/4 yard of the purple and it was barely enough for my four year old. I forgot to take into account the directional pattern of the main fabric. I was originally planning to make the sleeves from the main fabric but they would have been going the wrong direction (lengthwise down her arm), so I went with the purple instead. I'm glad I did because I think it looks much better. I also made sure to make the armhole extra deep because some of the comments said they had trouble getting the arms through because it was too small. I also added the ruffles instead of hemming. I love the way this turned out. It's big and loose and comfy on her, and so cute. I think she'll be able to get a couple of years out of this one. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project Journal: Car Seat Blanket and Teddy Bear Baby Shower Gift

Completed: June 2013

Car Seat Blanket  
Pattern: Car Seat Swaddle Blanket by Made By Marzipan (I can't link to the individual pattern, you have to search from the home page)
Materials: Nursery Fabric-Elephant Splash Packed Elephants and green polka dot fleece from Joann Fabrics
Notes: This was a very straight forward pattern and came together really quickly. I didn't like the look of the unfinished holes for the straps so I zig zagged around them in a contrasting color (orange). I thought about adding a blanket stitch edging around the outside but I liked the modern look of the orange around the holes and decided to leave it. 

Teddy Bear:
Pattern: Molly's Sketchbook: Wool and Liberty Teddy Bear from The Purl Bee
Materials: Same as above
Notes: The pattern for this bear is extremely well written. I've never sewed a stuffed animal before but the tutorial made it so easy that it all came together beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and would definitely make it again.

Project Journal: Mother's Day Handkerchiefs

Completed: April 2013
Pattern: Molly's Sketchbook: Herringbone Handkerchiefs from The Purl Bee

Notes: I really enjoyed making these. I made two each for my mom and my mother-in-law. They were really simple and helped me practice my embroidery skills. The herringbone stitch was really fun and easy once I got the hang of it. The most difficult part was planning out the cross stitched monogram so that the embroidery was clean looking on the back. 

I used fabric and embroidery floss from my stash.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Salted Caramel Meltaways

I tried making salted caramel sauce the other day. This was actually my second attempt. The first one was almost perfect, except I cooked it just a little too long. The resulting sauce wasn't exactly burned, but it was past the point of normal caramel. It kind of had a toffee flavor. Good, not great.

So, because I love caramel, I decided to try again. This time I think I slightly undercooked it. Go figure. Plus, for whatever reason, it didn't turn into a sauce. It got all grainy and hard instead. But I kept it anyway because I made it, and it's still sugar, and it still tastes good. Besides, it mostly melts when heated, so it can still sort of be used as a sauce. I thought about experimenting with putting it back in the pan and remelting it to see if that would help, but I never got around to it. 

Instead, I made these cute little meltaways! All I did was heat it up in the microwave and spoon it into a silicon ice cube mold. Once it cooled I popped them out and that was it! These little guys are perfect for adding to hot chocolate, coffee, or apple cider. Just stir until they're dissolved and enjoy!

I was excited to find a way to repurpose my failed caramel sauce into something I can actually use!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Customizing Shoes with Embroidery

I have this pair of canvas shoes that were really quite boring. They're actually men's shoes and my husband has a pair of his own so I really needed a way to pretty them up. I realized that they are the perfect material for embroidering and I had been wanting to try out a few basic stitches and designs. I decided to give it a try and I love the way they turned out!

I just did a basic backstitch in a swirly vine pattern and a lazy daisy flower on each foot. I underestimated how difficult it would be to manipulate the needle on the inside of the shoe, especially down by the toe. On the second shoe I tried to work the needle and thread from the outside as much as possible.

On the back heel I added another little flower. The heel had a piece of leather glued on the inside for extra support. It made it much more difficult to push the needle through. I actually broke one needle so I needed to upgrade to something sturdier. When I did the second shoe I used a thumbtack to poke holes for each stitch ahead of time. The glue also gunked up my needle and thread a little bit.

On the side of each shoe I added a heart so I could experiment and practice with satin stitch. 

I love wearing these. This was a really fast and easy project and the possibilities are endless. I hope this inspires you to eye up some of your tired old shoes and give them a little face lift, too!