Thursday, August 27, 2009


I bundled my love (and some sewing supplies) and will ship it all off to Iraq tomorrow. The limits of the flat rate box were stretched, but with some effort, I was able to tape the box closed! The bundle contains 5-6 different fabrics, some ribbon and thread. I also threw in a few travel sewing kits picked up at hotels over the years. Those kits were nice to include since they include pins, needles, safety pins and thread. I wrapped the bundle in a vintage table cloth. Let's hope a woman in Iraq soon finds these supplies useful.
Art's post over at the IBOL blog today said the site has had 31,000 hits! WOW! The power of the blogosphere is working for the greater good. I love it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Iraqi Bundles of Love

Have you heard about Iraqi Bundles of Love, an effort started by a US soldier stationed in Iraq? He saw a need for sewing supplies amongst Iraqi families and started collecting bundles of sewing and knitting supplies to distribute. So far, the bundle count is 80. That number will soon grow exponentially since the effort was featured on the Sew Mama Sew blog today. He already estimates being able to distribute to three provinces and anticipates the need for air support for massive distribution!

Self-contained bundles of fabric, yarn and notions are requested to be mailed by September 7 per instructions on the blog. Sew Mama Sew is offering to build and send bundles for a $15 donation.

Be sure to visit the IBOL blog to read how this soldier was inspired during his multiple visits to Iraq. He updates with pictures of the many bundles piling up and throws in some humor supplied by the unit's resident kitty. And his "about me", while simple and succient, touched me -- "I am the son of a quilter, who also made Halloween costumes for us kids. I am the brother of quilters, who give generously in everything they do. I am the husband of a quilter, who inspires me every day. And, apparently, I am helping to raise a quilter, who happens to be the cutest girl in the world."

I have read about several other service efforts in the sewing blogosphere and "meant" to participate. This one is a must for me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Skirt for my Sweetie

It's a skirt weekend around here. So far, I had not made much clothing for my daughter as she already has an abundance of cute summer dresses. It is so easy to find cute clothes for a little girl, but not so much for a thirtysomething mom. So, I have focused mainly on sewing clothing for myself. But I received this fabric from Park Slope by Erin McMorris in one of the scrap packs I ordered and knew it was destined to be a sweet little girl skirt.

Fortunately the scrap pack pieces are full width 44" cuts, a great width for a gathered skirt. I just squared up the fabric and sewed the selvedge edges together as a back seam. Then I made a casing for 1/2" elastic and sewed a 1/4" rolled hem. Done. Easy.

I like that underneath it all, this is still an intact 44" wide piece of fabric, in case this fabric wants to become something else in the future. Of course, the skirt should last a few seasons with the flexibility of the elastic waist band and the generous length (this piece was a 13" cut.) I also left a few extra inches of elastic at the end of the waistband in case we need to let it out later.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spring Tote from Stitch

Spring Tote from Stitch Magazine 2009
I pounded away at the grommets and finished this bag today. It is the Spring Tote from Stitch Magazine (Spring 2009 issue). The two blue fabrics are from Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner. The orange dot is a quilting cotton and the main fabric is 100% linen. The tote is a nice size and is sturdy from a layer of fusible fleece.

The pattern and instructions were easy to follow. I slightly reshaped the pattern pieces to make the bottom of the bag more rounded and added an extra interior pocket. The handles are a little short, but I will not rework them. Handles are my least favorite part of making bags!

The grommets did take alot of pounding! The kit that I purchased at the fabric store included everything needed (minus the hammer) for installation.

Spring Tote from Stitch Magazine 2009
For Stitch fans, I noticed today that the website includes a preview of the Fall 2009 issue (available in early October) including a cover shot, table of contents and a pre-order option.

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Kidlet for the Kid Stuff

Kidlet sewing pattern

Today, I made this Kidlet, from Jennifer's tutorial. It's a handy little bag to hang on a doorhandle or wall hook to collect the little kiddy stuff that ends up all over the room. For the main fabric, I used a heavyweight cotton with a subtle stripe effect (yep, it's an IKEA curtain panel). The lining and patchwork fabrics were in my stash. This was my first go at patchwork.

This one will hang in the hallway adjacent to our family room. I will probably make another for
upstairs. These would be handy to have during the baby days for bibs, burb cloths, pacifiers, nursing pads/cream, etc. Note to my two expecting sisters...pretend you did not read this and act surprised, okay :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Instant Gratification

I whipped up a drawstring bag based on the instructions in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. This was made to hold a birthday gift. I will probably make some more of these for my husband to use as shoe bags when traveling. He keeps hinting that I don't sew anything for him! The fabric is a tablecloth from IKEA. This one was $5 in the As-Is section. Lots of nice, heavy cheap fabric to use. And I like that the colors are different...unexpected.

An fyi for those using the book instructions. The photo in the book shows only one drawstring, but the instructions call for two (as shown above). I like using two drawstrings, it makes the bag easy to cinch. I used twill tape for the drawstrings. So the inside edges would be finished neatly, I used french seams.

Here is a close up of the (somewhat sloppy) zigzag technique used for the drawstring casings.

The halter that was a dress that was a tank

This top started out as a dress in my mind. Then I realized that an empire waistline starting that high would not be flattering for my body shape. So I decided to make a simple tank rather than a dress. Then I sewed one of the straps on at a weird angle that worked better as a halter strap. So I settled on a halter. I like this kind of creating...figuring it out as you go and not being afraid to move away from your original plan.

I drafted the pattern using an Ann Taylor Loft top that I have with a simple design to duplicate. The fabric is a cotton voile that I picked up locally for $2.99 a yard! I love the colors. Because of the lightweight and almost sheer quality of the fabric, I added a muslin lining to the bottom half of the shirt. The top portion of the top is interfaced along with the straps to add some body.

I still need to make some fit adjustments. The top portion is a little big and the elastic just loose enough to not feel confident that it won't slip too low in the back.

As a bonus, once I finished the top, I realized I have two cardigans that will make this wearable for work and that match perfectly, one the medium green and one the light blue in the print. And I love how it works with this pretty necklace I ordered from Snapdragon on etsy. I'm not a paid sponsor :)...just a happy customer. I love green and this adds a great boost of color to so many outfits.
The color is so blah on these pictures. Trying to capture the last bit of natural light on a dreary day gave me dreary pictures!