Friday, July 30, 2010

Craft Fail…or Win? (Thing 27)

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Do you see that blue dress? The one in the middle? I made it, during the afternoon. I got The Feeling, and I just had to go and MAKE something, or else I would explode. You do know that feeling, don’t you??

I dug through my To Re-Purpose Pile, and came across a long-sleeved navy polo shirt. Size Large, Men’s. Perfect! I grabbed a dress from my daughter’s drawer that always looks nice on her, traced it out, and started sewing! I was going to copy the sleeves as well….and then decided I just couldn’t be bothered. I also decided, after I had already cut it out, to attempt French seams. For the first time. From memory. (Heh. Yeeeaaaah…..)

I ended up with a rather cute dress, if i do say so myself, that is just a smidge tight across the chest. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to re-gift it to my (smaller) niece, or unpick the seams and re-do them sans “French.” (Since French seams are essentially one seam sewn around another seam, undoing the French-ness would give me nearly an extra inch around the chest!).

I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of the FRONT of the dress. My camera ran out of batteries as soon as we reached our destination, and when we got home again, it was time for bed. *sigh* The life of a blogger is tough!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thing 26: A Pouf!

Ladies, and gentleman, I present to you…a pouf!

(No, sweet husband, it’s not a powf. If’s pronounced poof. Got it? Ok. moving on.)


I used this tutorial, from Living With Punks.  Her poufs were a little different – they had some rather smart looking piping around the edges. However, I had neither piping nor the patience to go out and buy some. So…no piping for me!

I learned a new trick with these – a way to make super strong handles! The fabric for the handles is folded twice, so it’s actually four layers of canvas. Also, see that nifty little x’d box there? That makes it really stick to the rest of the pillow. Neat, right?


My finished pouf is sitting in my daughter’s room, and I just ADORE it! The hardest part was stuffing it. I used some ripped foam filling that I scored off of Freecycle. Now, I love me some free, but that stuff makes a HUGE mess. And my three year old was helping me stuff. And my one year old was sneaking handfuls of the filling and launching it down the stairs. And I very nearly took the (unfinished) pouf, the “helpful” three year old, and the maniacal one year old and locked them all in the cellar to sort themselves out.

I didn’t.

But it was close.


(The fabric is a home-dec weight cotton from IKEA.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thing 25: An (itty bitty) Man Purse!

My daughter, Ming Wai, received an invitation to attend a birthday party last weekend. We were thrilled, of course, but a little stumped. See, the party was for a little boy. Turning three. And I prefer handmade gifts over store-bought ones.

So, what, pray tell, does a three year old boy like?!

I decided that most little kids, regardless of gender, need bags to carry around their “treasures.” And so…I made an Itty Bitty Man Purse! It was originally going to be flannel on the outside (see the strap? That flannel.) and grey cotton on the inside. However, after I finished quilting it, I couldn’t bear to put the grey inside! So…I just folded it the other way, and let the cotton shine.

Then, I needed to find a model. My first model was difficult to work with, and seemed to dislike the product.


(He couldn’t figure out how to get it OFF….and he HATES being tied down, in ANY way. Thus, the half-nekkid Floor Tantrum.)

I moved on to another model, just to show the versatility of the bag.

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This model was much easier to work with, and really knew how to “work” the product!

And then, just to show what a good sport he was, our first model decided to give me a Goober Face Shot. Just to be nice. (See, Mom? No more tantrum! I’m easy going – don’t tie me up, and I won’t fall to the floor screaming like a banshee on crack. Honest!)



PS – I didn’t have a pattern for this one. If anyone is interested in a tutorial, please let me know! I thought I could explain it pretty simply, but it’s something that’s better seen than…read? Just leave a comment if a tutorial would be helpful.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Things 21-24: Pillows!

Hello, y’all! I’ve missed you, and I’ve missed this space! I promise, I HAVE been sewing…but remembering to take pictures, and then remembering to put them onto the computer, and then remembering to blog…well, that hasn’t been happening. Not so much.

However. I’ve had my hiatus. I’ve taken the “bloggy break” that seems so popular this summer. And now? I’m back!

When we moved into our new digs a month ago, we did some Furniture Shuffling. The big girl got some new (to us) bedroom furniture, which moved her old bed into her little brother’s room (in standby, for the time being). Siu Jeun is still sleeping in his crib. The futon went into the den, to make it into a guest room, and we were left with one extra mattress – Lo Gung’s old, old twin-size from his bachelor days. What to do?


Well! I’m glad you asked! It, of course, moved into the playroom to start its new life as a trampoline! Hooray! (We had an old mattress in our playroom when I was a kid, and I think it’s a BRILLIANT idea!) Besides, if we have a plethora of guests….a few of them can always sleep in the playroom!


Lo Gung just had one caveat: If I insisted on putting an old mattress in the playroom, it could not LOOK like an old mattress. It is made up with a fitted sheet, and I have been tasked with filling in the edges with good-looking pillows.

Here’s what I’ve got so far: repurposed pillows!

My stash, now that I’m here in our new place, is slightly embarrassing.  So, I’m doing my best to work through it right now. These first two pillows were actually Lo Gung’s idea. We had some old (and really soft) robes that we didn’t use any more. “Why don’t you make pillows for the kids??” Oh, how I love that man! When we found two HUGE square pillows ($10 for the set) at a moving sale in our neighborhood, I knew it was meant to be!IMG_6815 IMG_6816  The kids love sitting on their pillows. Siu Jeun, especially, loves plopping face first into his new pillow and snuggling down for a Tactile Moment.

These next ones aren’t nearly as fun…but do serve their purpose. The shams are repurposed from a flannel queen-size flat sheet I found at Goodwill. I have a soft spot for green and purple together…so when I saw this sheet, I knew I had to have it for SOMETHING. (These pillows are just guest pillows/extras that were lazing about in the linen closet. To save space in there, I plan on making shams for the REST of the “extra” pillows as well, and then piling them onto our Playroom Bed. Two down, two to go!)


PS – To make the shams, I followed a tutorial from Vively Online, as best as I could remember it. Because I never actually have directions in front of me when I work. I rely on my steel trap MIND. Which…is why my seam ripper is my best friend. Anywho, if you’d like to make some quick and easy shams, head over here!