The pouf!

I found the tutorial for the pouf on pinterest.  Basically, it’s a soft, carry-able ottoman. It was pretty easy, with the exception of figuring out how to cut a circle.  I actually had a compass, but it was about 1″ too small to make the correct diameter.  And since I was not interested in trying to resize ALL the measurement, I ended up rigging up a contraption.  I tied a string to the end of a pencil in the length of the diameter of the circle I needed.  Then traced a circle with the pencil while holding the string on the center point.  Oh, the pipping was kind of a pain.  Not that it was hard, just a pain.  It definitely finishes it off, but I tend to have a hard time keeping my stitches straight, especially when sewing a circle.

The little one liked it at first, but now she’s not too interested.  I’m guessing that when she gets a little older and more balanced she’ll enjoy it more.  Excuse the bed head.  🙂

New machine and cover!

Say hello to Singer Athena!

And to my new set up (again) …

I got her for my birthday, back in August, and because of my computer going out I had not had a chance to really do a good update.  I still have hardly used it (even in November).  The first thing I did though was make a sewing machine cover.  Nothing fancy, just a simple thing to hang over the machine.  I honestly can’t even remember which tutorial I used, but I do remember having to change it quite a bit because I screwed something up.  It’s basically a hemmed piece of fabric with fabric ties to keep it over the machine.

Sorry for being MIA

I’ve been around… and even doing a little bit of sewing.  Unfortunately, my camera broke and I am now only able to take pictures on my phone.  What’s the problem you say?  Well, somewhere along the way to a new hard drive I lost my iphoto software.  So I have no way of uploading my pictures to my computer.  When my camera worked (it’s broken now too), I uploaded them straight from my camera to flickr… can’t do that with the iphone apparently.  Either that, or I’m just not tech-savvy enough.  Anywho, there is at least one update I have back logged.  I’ve just got to get on the ball and either get my camera working again or get some software for uploading pictures.

YAY, I’m back!

My step dad fixed my computer, yay!  Hopefully the fix will last me long enough to get a new computer.

 

I actually haven’t really sewn anything since my computer crashed a few weeks ago.  I have lots of things I want to do, but at the time I didn’t have the money to buy the supplies.  I did, how ever buy some more fabrics at fabricworm with a credit I had on paypal.

 

I can’t wait to get a chance to do something with these cute fabrics.  They’re washed and prepped, I just need some ideas… off to search pinterest!

Drawstring Bag

So I actually made this back in July, but I couldn’t post because I made to hold my best friend’s birthday present.  I have to give myself away and say that I was stalking her etsy “favorites” for ideas on what to get her when I ran across this adorable drawstring bag.  (That lady’s got some seriously adorable stuff)  I knew instantly that I wanted it for BFF.

I already had the materials on hand so next on the list was to find a (free) pattern (sorry BFF, this momma’s on a budget).  I found quite a few tuts, but only one that I thought would work for the project.  I really only used it as a guide as I was doing a liner on the inside, as per the inspiration, and I cut out two pieces for the front and back instead of one long piece.  I traced a pattern for the birds myself- pretty easy since it was the exact same figure as my daughter’s first birthday theme.  Then I used embroidery thread to stitch around the bird and to attach the pearl eyes.  This was actually the main reason I did the liner, I wanted to protect the “wrong” side of the embroidery.  I was afraid if I left it raw that the thread would break and cause the birds to fall off.

I have to admit that it didn’t really turn out nearly as nice as the inspiration, but as my 5th sewing project it was pretty good and only took me about a hour.  I’m pretty sure that I need to have a different plan of attack for the lining if I plan to do it again.  I *think* I could use the technique that I used for the nesting baskets, but I have to figure out a way to transfer that knowledge.  I’m not “versed” enough yet to transfer the idea to a different project.

Diaper Clutch

This was, by far, the quickest and easiest project I’ve done so far.

The Diaper Clutch tutorial is by Diary of a Quilter*. I did hit a few snags (no pun intended) along the way with this tutorial. I completely believe they were because of my own limitations. I’ve realized that there are a few basic items I really need that would help me; a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and long clear ruler. I had a cutter, but it was cheap and didn’t work (user error?). I also have a long clear ruler, but it just never seems to work for me. The cutting mat needs to be of decent length to allow me to make longer cuts at one time.

What I liked about this project was the small amount of steps and that it took less than 1/2 a yard of fabric. It would make a great (and easy) baby shower gift. I’ll definitely be storing this tutorial away for future baby showers!

*I debated between two tutorials. Here is the other one, in case it interests you more.

Houston We Have A Problem

I’ll be out of touch for about another week.  The hard drive on my computer died AGAIN, twice in 5 years, REALLY!?!?  So, since I don’t have the money to get it fixed, I’ll be computer-free until August 14.  Well… technically I have an iphone, but that’s just annoying to try to post from that.  Currently I’m borrow my mom’s laptop, but I can’t upload any pictures to this computer.  Soooo, I’ll be on a hiatus until my husband gets home with our other computer. 

 

Anyone selling a used macbook?  Must be 2010 or newer.  🙂

Work re-organization

I’ve been unhappy with my work space for a while now.  It’s functional, but it pretty much stops there.  The bookshelf next to my desk does not satisfy my organizational desires (the left bookshelf is my co-worker’s).  When I bought the canvas baskets for my closet re-organization, I bought a few for work.  I also tossed a few magazine holders into the basket.  They were a little price-y ($9.99 a piece), but well worth it in the end!

Here’s the before:

Here’s the after:

I realize that this is not something that is out of a magazine.  But let’s face it.  Those beautifully organized places you see on pinterest and Real Simple, they’re not real life.  Well, they’re not MY real life.  I’ve got way more stuff that I NEED easy access to almost daily.  So, I tried to set up this bookshelf in the most functional manner.  Putting my the most necessary items at the easiest reach from my desk.  Total bookshelf re-org. cost (not including previously owned items): $41- 4 small canvas baskets, $4.99 each, 3 magazine holders, $9.99 each, 1 package decorative labels, $4.99, 1 large decorative “E”, $6.99.

I also bought a drawer organizer from TJMaxx ($7.99), very similar but larger in size, to the one I used here in my sewing table.

Before:

After:

Nesting Baskets

My second project was rather ambitious, I have to admit.  And, it actually took me the course of a week to complete.  Not because it was that hard, per say, there were just a lot of steps missteps.  Well, there were a lot of steps too.
I was so eager to get started on projects that weren’t just for myself and my daughter (I know, I’m so generous).  Insert, Pinterest.  I’ve pinned projects since before I even owned a sewing machine and I decided that I was going to make these nesting baskets that I pinned a while back.  There was even a free pattern! While it wasn’t overwhelmingly hard,  I really don’t think this was a beginner’s project.  Maybe more of an advanced beginner’s project- is there such a thing?

While attempting this project I ran into a few problems.  One, the tutorial was a little misleading, and I completely take blame for that.  I tried to read and re read it to get a good feel for it, but it just didn’t make sense until I was doing it.  So, if you are using my blog as any kind of inspiration let me give a few pointers I learned.  First, if you plan to use one fabric for the outer and inner lining you’ll need about a 1.5 yards for the largest basket alone.  The middle probably used about .75 yards, and the smallest one about the same as the middle.  I was confused by this on the tutorial because she used two fabrics for each basket instead of one.  Secondly, she states how many of each piece you need for which basket.  You will need an extra circle out of your “cotton” fabric, i.e two strips and two circles from your cotton and one strip and one circle from your batting.  I can’t tell if this was just me reading her instructions wrong or what.  Third, and last (I think), for love of all things decent, use the proper measuring tools.  Good grief.  I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.  I royally messed up the first and largest basket because I didn’t measure properly.  It turned out about 1-2 inches shorter than the other two because of my miss-measure.
I do have to say that I as I went it got easier, and better-looking.  Hence why the smallest one is closest to the lens in the second picture.

I hope that they are at least useable and presentable.  My poor BFF… she will be subject to a lot of mediocre “gifts” in the coming months.

Fabric organization

While small on many scales, I now have the most amount of fabrics I’ve ever owned in my life.  So I decided it was time to organize it.  Especially since the folding it up and tossing it in a Rubbermaid wasn’t really cutting it for my organizational needs.

Surprisingly, I came up with an idea.  By myself.  No help from Dr. Pinterest, Mrs. Stewart, or anything!  Well… I’m sure *someone* has done this before, but not that I’m currently aware of.  I started out with a small Rubbermaid tub, I didn’t take a picture of it because well, it was just an empty Rubbermaid tub.

Since I try to be green (and I’m on a budget) I took a few old boxes and cut out rectangles to use as “spools” to wrap the fabric around.  I had to woodshed a little to get them to fit properly in the tub.  I think I got about 15 out of 2 small-ish boxes.  Of course, if you have a larger tub/shelves to fill then your spools might be larger.  Therefore, you won’t get as many out of each box.

Then I folded each fabric much like I would a bath towel, into 3 even folds.  Place the “spool” at one end and wrap.  File into container of your choice.  I barely fit all my fabrics into the tub, and honestly I don’t have that many.  I suppose a person could get a deeper clear container and layer them… maybe when I need to upgrade.  🙂  Happy Organizing!