Sunday, November 15, 2009

I heart my husband

Iestyn spent last week in Japan on business. Before he left, we were talking about how I'd like to go shopping in Japan because they have such great crafts and fabric. And he is such a sweet man that he offered to buy me fabric while he was there!

So I found him a branch of Yuzawaya to visit near his hotel, and some, well, honestly, totally vague guidance about what sorts of fabric I like, and he went and got me this fun haul:
2 yards of the yellow one, which is frogs (adorable, and A loves it already), 4 yards of the pink with daisies, and a yard of the other three - ballerinas, dinosaurs, and some Kokka Trefle fabric(!) - look how cute:
He has a pretty good eye for things I'd like, especially for someone who's a little afraid of the fabric store, lol!

Plus he got a sample package of a bunch of different quilting fabrics - like a selection of fat quarter blenders, except they're not fat quarters. Maybe fat 1/8ths? Anyway, there are a bunch of different things in there. And he also got this great kit:
Stuffed chickens! Hee-hee.

I haven't had time to make the chickens yet, but I did use some of my new fabric this afternoon to make this needlecase for all the hand-sewing I've been doing lately:
(The button looks better in person, although I may ultimately decide to switch it for another one.)

The inside has felt for the needles, and two pockets - one for my embroidery scissors, and one for whatever else I need:
I basically read the Tiny Happy housewife tutorial and then made my own version. I totally love it. Now I need to get back to my lengthy list of things to make for the holidays, I suppose, but I'm glad to have a fun pincushion (see next post) and needlecase to use for all those projects. And I already have plans for quite a lot of the fabric Iestyn got me. :)

Gosh, I'm whiny lately....

I have yet another project that I thought was a big pain, even if it turned out really cute. I made the Portobello Pixie cupcake pincushion pattern, and it took me about four tries before I had one that I'll be able to actually use. First I made the "high calorie" version. It actually went together fairly easily, and I really liked my fabrics, but the thing was HUGE. I think the top - just the top - was 6-7 inches across. Much too big for the space I have available for a pincushion! (I couldn't really get a grasp of the size from the pictures, but it' svery big.) So, then I thought I'd just make the smaller one. And that one is much harder to put together. Plus I made my life difficult by deciding to do two colors for the "wrapper" part (why do I do these things to myself??). Only then I realized it needed an additional ruffle to tie the colors together, and then I realized with an additional ruffle, the bottom was just too small. So, I took it apart, made the bottom wrapper part a half inch taller, and sewed it all together again. But because of the way I'd done it, I had to attach the wrapper to the top by hand. It took forever. I feel like there was another version in there, too, but maybe not. Anyway, I *do* really like the final result, but it wasn't the easiest project I've ever done:

But hey, at least I have a cute pincushion now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is cute, too, but....

Wow, what a pain to make!

Sew Mama Sew had a month of tutorials for using your scraps, and I came across this tutorial for a fabric colors book for babies, and I thought it was adorable. I have a niece with an upcoming birthday, so I thought it would be a good project to make for her. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped. Now, I'd like to point out that my problems weren't actually the fault of the tutorial. It would have been easier if I'd followed the tutorial a little closer. In that version, you do the iron on transfers onto a piece of white fabric, and that's one of the squares used. *I* thought it would be cooler to have 4 colored squares, and so I ended up appliquéing the color names to the middle. That was a huge pain. I also didn't square up my blocks well enough, which was just laziness. Oh, and the cover page looked awful at first - something went very wrong with the appliqué, and it was completely crooked. So I had to salvage that without starting over (also laziness). And I added a layer of batting to each page so they would be a little thicker, which was actually fine, but did add a step and some thickness.

Anyway, here's a terrible picture of the cover (and one of my favorite of the inside pages):

Sorry about the picture quality - I never get good pictures at night, but I wanted to go ahead and get the post up. (The jacket post is still coming. The only picture I have is really unflattering, so I'm going to be vain and wait until I can get a better one!)

So I do quite like my final product, but it was a lot of work. And I caused myself problems. I hate that. Oh, well, hopefully the recipient will enjoy it! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

So cute!!

A while back I found a link to these fairy tale finger puppets from somewhere. I thought they were adorable, and M has a thing for pigs, so I bookmarked it to make them for the girls for Christmas. I finished them yesterday, and they are SO DARN CUTE. I really want to give them to the girls NOW, but I guess I'll probably wait until Christmas. Actually, I have ideas about my own variations (other animals I could make), so there may be quite a collection by the time Christmas gets here! The funniest part is that even though the pigs were my inspiration, I don't like mine all that much. The others are much cuter. Ah well.

The three little pigs:

The Big Bad Wolf:
Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. (They're my personal favorites.)
They required quite a bit of hand sewing, but apparently that's what I'm in the mood for these days, because I quite enjoyed it. Plus I can carry it with me and bring it along when I'm waiting around for various activities to be done, so that's nice.

I'm also going to have another post soon about a jacket success (to make up for the huge fail of the last one!) I actually finished it last weekend, but I haven't had a chance to get pictures yet. I'm very happy, though. :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I finished this a while ago, but I was waiting for Halloween to have a good action shot. This year A wanted to be a frog for Halloween. (I'm a little surprised she hasn't done it before, honestly - it's long been her favorite animal.) So, here's what I came up with for her:

I made a green shirt and pants, then modified a hood from a pattern that I had. Then I made gloves and spats (with attached feet). I made approximately a million stuffed yoyos (okay, maybe more like 22) for the little balls on the hands and feet and then also for the eyes. We were both quite happy with how it turned out, although the hands and feet didn't make it very long in the trick or treating process. But at least I got some pictures. ;)

I like this mid-jump shot. And the adorable monkey. (Although she forbade me from making her costume this year. I don't think she's over last year's ghost costume disaster yet, lol.)
Happy belated Halloween!