Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kennedy Bag

I whipped up a quick Kennedy bag last weekend, as a pattern test courtesy of Sew Sweetness. 

Sara just released this pattern and it's a freebie!! Head over to Sew mama sew to download your free copy of the Kennedy bag. 

This bag was a pretty quick sew considering all the extras and hardware it features.  I love the accent piece and straps on the flap as well as the side buckles! It does require a few button holes and a zipper, but beyond that it's a project a confident beginner could easily tackle. 

I think I will be enlarging this pattern and using it to make a messenger bag. I love the design of this bag! I just listed this one in the shop today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Comment chaos!!

I have no idea what is going on with my blogger, but not only am I not being notified of new comments, it's not even showing all the comments that are there. So frustrating! So, I wanted to apologize for being slow on the response and not being able to reply via email to comments!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wicked Blog Hop

I'm super excited to be participating in Sew We Quilt's Wicked Blog hop!

I LOVE Halloween, it's such a fun holiday to decorate for and celebrate. I knew that I wanted to make something functional for this hop...what;s more functional than a treat basket?! Urban Threads had an awesome sale on embroidery patterns, and I went a little nuts and loaded up on the Halloween designs. I found this one and knew it would be perfect for a treat basket!

Besides who doesn't have a need for more baskets?!

I found an awesome purple and black batik and some skeletons at JoAnn's that were exactly what I was looking for. I used one of my new faves:

it's a water soluble stabilizer that you can run through your printer to print your pattern directly on. I used some decor bond and some fusible fleece on both the exterior and the lining to give it some structure and made a very basic basket to hold some goodies!

If you've never made a fabric basket, it's super duper easy! Just make sure that the lining and exterior fabrics are the width that you want the diameter of the basket to be and the length is about 6 inches or so longer than you want the height of the basket to be (to accommodate for boxed corners at the bottom and a fold over at the top).

Sew the bottom and side of the basket lining and exterior (leaving part of the lining bottom open to turn later).

Once they are sewn, box your corners by about 2 inches, then put your exterior (right side out) inside your lining (inside out)...right sides should be facing. Then sew around the top, flip the basket through the hole you left and top stitch the hole in the lining.

Press the basket well and top stitch the top edge if you like. Ta-da....new basket, easy peasy.

Please stop by and check out the other awesome bloggers participating today and see what wicked projects they made:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Wicked is Coming!!!

Wicked starts tomorrow!!

Stay Tuned!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sewing Machine Review--Singer 7258

  Singer Stylist 7258:

There are so many machines out there, and it think it's wonderful that the folks at SewMamaSew are putting together a list of reviews by actual owners of various machines. I have a little Singer that does me well most of the time. Here's my review:
How long have you had it? Since Christmas of 2011, almost 2 years
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? 175.00 USD
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? I've used it for home dec, clothing and handbags, as well as some other accessories
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?. Several hours a week on average
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love the ease of use of my machine, but we do fight sometimes.
What features does your machine have that work well for you? I love the automatic threader (it's just a huge time saver),  and the auto-button holer.  Also the speed controls are awesome. I love that you can lock out how fast you can go that way you can't accidentally step on the pedal too hard.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?  It can be a bit finicky and after really putting it through it's paces (sewing 4 and 5 layers or super heavy fabrics) the tension can get a bit wacky. I've heard from others that own this machine that it can get a bit temperamental after some rough sewing. It usually works it self back out after a good cleaning and leaving it be for a day (go figure).
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? I think it's a great beginner machine and has worked wonderfully for garments and most hand bags. However, it does get bogged down quickly by multiple layers, or even a few layers of heavy fabric. I think that more advanced sewists may need a heavier duty machine.
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? I think making sure the machine is capable of doing what you ask it to do. Asking: How much can it handle? Does it have all the features you absolutely need and is it reliable? 
Do you have a dream machine? lol no, I'm actually really happy with mine, except if i could get it to handle a bit more without throwing a tantrum that would be great.

Overall, I love my machine, I just wish it wasn't so finicky with the tension after a more difficult project. I've gotten it to sew through a layer of quilting cotton, headliner fabric, insulbrite, soft and stable, fusible fleece and PUL. This was all without a walking foot! It made it through but it wasn't without it's struggles. I does a great job for anything up to moderate weight jobs. It does wonderfully with bag making, it comes with an impressive amount of extras (zipper foot, blind hem foot, rolled hem foot, button holer, and much more...I haven't even used half of them!). It was my very first machine that was all mine, all those that preceded it were loaners.

Linking  up to Sew Mama Sew's Sewing Machine Reviews. 




Thursday, October 3, 2013

Master bedroom on a budget

It turns out mattresses are expensive, it was a good thing my husband and I had decided that we wanted to downsize to a queen for our next bed anyway. Holy Moly have you been mattress shopping recently?! Since we previously had a king, we had to buy all new bed linens.

Time to head to Target. I had nothing particular in mind, and I found this little gem on a clearance end cap. (How much do I L.O.V.E. Target's clearance?! The red sticker said 20.45---are you kidding? I couldn't get it in my cart fast enough

Since this was just a duvet I had to buy a comforter to go with it, so I opted for a lightweight down alternative one for 24 bucks. As for sheets, I cannot live my life with 200 thread count sheets. I ran across these 400 thread count sheets marked down to 30 bucks for the set simply because they were out of the package.  I also found a similar set in gray at Gabrielle Brothers for 9.99. Yes, please.

Next up, I had to tackle the curtains. I had previously made a pin tucked duvet cover from some sheets (thank you Pinterest), while the duvet turned out well, the curtains I had made to match did not. They looked like I had bed sheets hanging from my windows. Everyone insisted they did not, I only thought so because I knew they were made from sheets but I couldn't get them down fast enough.

To make these curtains, I took 4 and 1/2 yards of coordinating fabrics from my stash (read: free), and cut each yard into four 9" strips, with the exception of the half yard of the teal fabric, I cut that into six 3" strips. It just so happened that the 44" width of the fabrics was a perfect length for the curtains. I just arranged how I wanted the strips to go, sewed them together, hemmed the sides and bottom and turned the top down a couple of inches so I could slide the curtain rod through.

For the wider panels, I used 4 of the 9 inch strips and 2 of the 3" strips. The window above our bed is MUCH smaller, so I only used 2 of the wider pieces and one smaller piece per panel.  The sizes worked out perfectly. 

I still had 4 of the strips left over so I used those to recover the throw pillows I already had. 

I decided that, in addition to the gray, I wanted some pops of turquoise and red (I adore these colors together!) So how better to pull in the red than a little embroidery on the pillows?

I got to try out one of my new favorite items, Pellon's water soluble embroidery stabilizer. It's printable, so you can run it through your printer and just stick the sheet with the pattern on it, directly onto the fabric you are using. It worked like a charm, you can use it on darker fabrics that otherwise may be difficult to transfer the pattern on and it saves you the hassle of tracing more complicated patterns. 

Just like the package claimed, the entire sheet melted away under some running water and a little agitation by me. I let the fabric air dry, ran a hot, dry iron over it and sewed up an envelope cover for one of my existing throw pillows (why buy new ones when I can just update the old?).

I underestimated how much smaller a Queen bed is, and how much extra room we would have in the bedroom. Our room is TINY and a smaller bed works really well in the space. However, it seemed like there was too much open space so I went rug shopping. I found this 5 x 7 rug for 16.98 at Ollie's. Score. 

I'm really happy with how it's coming together. The grand total spent has been right around a hundred bucks!!! Yay Bargain shopping!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why you should always consult Google FIRST

Over the past week I've been working hard to redo our master bedroom. Although this has been looong over due, it may have waited a few more years if I weren't so completely ridiculous.

I guess it's best to start at the beginning.

The Sunday before last, I was changing my sheets (love me some clean sheets! ) and I noticed there was some "dirt" on the mattress. I started looking around the mattress and found a bug. A. BUG. IN. MY. BED.

Then I found another. 

Now, I work in a hospital and I once saw a bed bug. Clearly this one viewing qualifies me as an expert and obviously if it was a bug and in my bed it must be a bed bug. 

I did what any reasonable and rational person would do: I flipped the hell out.

With my husband's assisted I encased the mattress in three fitted sheets and made him help drag it outside. 

The house across the street from me is currently under renovation and is empty. It just so happens there is a large construction dumpster in the driveway. So yeah, in the cover of night, sometime around midnight we carried our mattress and box springs to the dumpster across the street.

Did I ever stop to consult Google, you ask?


If I had I wouldn't have drug my bed across the street at midnight, packed up almost all of my belongings in that room into garbage bags and carried them to the deck and quarantined my bedroom.

The next morning, after tens of minutes of sleep I was still in freak out mode but when I got to work I decided to Google bed bugs and call every exterminator in the tri state area to find the first available. 

Guess what Google told me?
Not bed bugs
Guess what the exterminator told me?
Not bed bugs... And the bugs I found were most likely just tracked in from outside. Carpet beetles. Completely harmless unless you happen to be made of wool. 

I think mr. Exterminator felt poorly for my husband being married to such a crazy woman because he didn't even charge us for the inspection. There were no bugs to exterminate at all, let alone bed bugs.


The moral of the story? Consult Google FIRST. Freak out second.

At least we got a new mattress set and a free bug inspection. When you get a new bed you MUST make it pretty. So, I got to work on a shoestring budget (we did just buy a fancy new mattress war after all) to try and work with what I had or could get on the cheap. 

Here's a quick snapshot of the semi finished products. I'll write another posts on the cost break down and projects for it this week...about a hundred bucks (not including the bed) for the makeover!!!