Just airing some dirty laundry. Shhh!

Meet Winnie.

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Winnie likes to “help” me sew…

I love Winnie more than any other little pup in the universe. She’s lived with us for just over three years and she could not be more perfect. Despite her precocious ways.

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While she’s grown out of many of her “sneak attack” tendencies, she still has an affinity for baskets of (dirty) laundry. For years, I’ve used one of those pop-up baskets, but one of Winnie’s favorite hobbies is tipping it over and running amok with its contents.

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My friend furoshiki

I initially thought this would be a really basic story: “Look at the cute gift I made for my friend Melanie’s birthday! The end.” But this story ended up having a cool, coincidental twist! Read on.

My lovely friend Melanie (who, by the way, was the ringleader for our 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon running group) lived in Tokyo for a few years and once told me she really loves cherry blossoms because they remind her of her time spent in Japan. I have always remembered this fact because I, too, love cherry blossoms — but I really have no reason for loving them, other than I like the way they look (sadly, I have not visited Japan) (yet) (hint hint, Tokyo Disneyland anybody?).

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I had a bit of cherry blossom fabric leftover from some other projects, so I put it to the side for Melanie and revisited it while working on her birthday project. And the zipper, which matched perfectly, came from my crazy bulk zipper stash – I’m slowly working through those and finally starting to make a dent!

In the spirit of trying new things, and also tackling my 100 No Pressure Projects List, I decided to make a bow pouch that I had seen on Pinterest some months ago. As I tend to do with all zipper pouch projects, I used a mashup of tutorials — the Little Bow Clutch Tutorial on This Big Oak Tree and my favorite zipper pouch tutorial on Make It Perfect.

And I love the way it turned out. Love, love, love.

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I lined the inside with a charcoal/black calico print I already had on hand because it seemed to flow with the floral theme. I never, ever line zipper pouches with the exact same  fabric I’ve used on the outside. Because that would be boring!

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But here’s the fun (and educational) coincidence. Do you know what furoshiki is? Yeah, neither did I… according to the trusty (ha) Wikipedia, “furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.” Apparently when Melanie was living in Japan, she received a baby gift that was wrapped in furoshiki and looked just like this bow pouch – so not only the cherry blossoms, but even the design, is sentimental for Melanie.

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An example of furoshiki from the Wikipedia.

So how coincidental is that? I had no clue. I just picked the bow design because I wanted to try something new and I thought it looked cute – but Melanie was destined to receive this design. It was obviously fate!

But whether it’s a bow clutch or furoshiki – there will definitely be a lot more of these bow clutches in my future.

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PS – After I wrote this post, it sat in my blog queue for awhile because I wanted to make sure Melanie approved before I posted. Between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Melanie brought me the most wonderful book — Furoshiki Fabric Wraps by Pixeladies. The book has beautiful photos and detailed instructions for wrapping all sorts of gifts in fabric! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. You can bet I will be writing about some of these wraps when I try them out. And now I’m convinced I need to buy a serger so I can serge all of my fabric and use it for furoshiki!

Furoshiki Fabric Wraps Book

 

 

 

 

One Hundred ‘No Pressure’ Projects

So this is it — my one hundredth post! Woohoo! In honor of this milestone, I’ve come up with a list of 100 projects I’d like to complete. It’s sort of like a sewing bucket list. I’m posting the list here and as I complete a project on the list, I’ll add the link to the completed project. Award Some notes about the list:

  • Project diversity: Some things on the list are specific projects I’ve always wanted to complete. Others are more open-ended and scavenger-hunt-esque (e.g., something inspired by my hometown).
  • I’m a weirdo: Some things on the list may seem kind of strange without explanation — but I promise to explain the background in full detail when each project is completed and I get the chance to write about it.
  • Bunting = love: One of the categories is all about monthly bunting — I want a bunting for every single month! Even though I’ve already completed a few month’s worth in previous blog posts, I’ve left them on this list and marked them as completed. So technically I have a bit of a head start on this list. But I get to make the rules and I say that’s okay. 😉
  • I’m repeating some previous goals: There are some things on this list I’ve already done. Like gifts for certain family members. Or projects inspired by Disney characters. But I’ve left these on the list because I have more ideas and I intend on tackling these goals once again!
  • Patterns I own: I’ve listed a bunch of commercial patterns I already own (thanks a lot, 5 for $5 sales!) — my goal is to make at least one project from each pattern listed so I can justify the purchase of the pattern. But no pressure to make every single project listed in the pattern! And speaking of no pressure…
  • No pressure: There’s no timeline for this list. I may get through one project next weekend — and another project a year from now. This list is just for fun — not to fulfill some crazy “project a day” challenge or something. I work full time and have a life unrelated to sewing and blogging, y’all (shocking, I know) — so this shouldn’t be something that keeps me awake at night.
  • There will still be side projects – lots of side projects! My future sewing projects won’t be limited to this list. If something else pops up, I’ll still sew it and blog about it and all that. But it just won’t be a part of THIS challenge! I have a feeling tackling this list will really slow down as my gift-giving ramps up around Christmas time. This list won’t change, but my priorities might!
  • Shout it out: If there’s something on this list you really want to see me tackle, let me know — maybe I’ll make it next. Similarly, if there’s something on this list you’ve already made and you have helpful tips or tricks — please share!

So without further ado — here’s the list (in no particular order) …

Family Gifts

  1. Something for my dad
  2. Something for my mom (COMPLETED 12/2014: Mom’s Zip & Go… previous posts about projects for my mom included a nail polish caddy and a jewelry roll)
  3. Something for my brother, Jason
  4. Something for my future sister-in-law, Sarah (COMPLETED 11/2015 – Zip and GO BADGERS)
  5. Something for my roommate, Katie (COMPLETED 12/2014 – DONUT underestimate the power of paper piecing)
  6. Something for Katie’s dog, Winnie
  7. Something for my brother’s dog, Gizmo

Selfish Sewing – aka, stuff for me!

  1. Something for my car
  2. A collection of juggling supplies to keep at work
  3. Shoe bag(s) for traveling
  4. A duvet cover (I’ve previously written about this goal)
  5. Pillow shams
  6. A padfolio for work
  7. A towel that slips over the back of a pool chair
  8. A passport cover
  9. An accessory for my DSLR camera
  10. An insulated case for a hot hair straightener while traveling
  11. A completed cross-stitch project to frame (Read about my first ever cross-stitch project here!)

Bunting — for every month of the year!

  1. January
  2. February (COMPLETED 1/23/2015 – I Heart Valentine’s Day)
  3. March
  4. April (COMPLETED 4/5/2014 – Easter Peeps Bunny Bunting)
  5. May
  6. June (COMPLETED 7/11/2014 – Summertime Watermelon Bunting)
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October (COMPLETED 10/2013 – No blog post, just this photo!)
  11. November
  12. December
  13. Generic birthday bunting

Around the house

  1. Covers for the decorative pillows on the couch
  2. A table runner
  3. Placemats
  4. An ironing board cover
  5. Dish towel toppers (sewn or crocheted)
  6. Fabric baskets / bins
  7. Insulted wine bottle tote
  8. Hanging laundry bag (COMPLETED 9/21/14 – Just airing some dirty laundry. Shhh!)
  9. Apron (I have my eye on the hot pad apron in One Yard Wonders)
  10. Christmas tree skirt
  11. A “pixel” quilt (sewn or crocheted) – (Here are some examples)

Really specific projects

  1. Little Bow Clutch (COMPLETED 9/13/14 – My friend furoshiki)
  2. Embroidery Hoop Clock (Here’s the tutorial)
  3. Birthday countdown calendar (COMPLETED 12/2014 – It’s your birthday, baby!)
  4. Floral baby blanket (crochet) (Here’s the pattern)
  5. Mega card holder wallet (COMPLETED 9/2015 – Chris’s (Mega) Birthday)
  6. Egg shaped potholders (they’re just the right size for your hand!) (Here’s the tutorial)
  7. A rag quilt using long strips vs. squares (Here’s an example)

Techniques to try

  1. Reverse applique (Here’s an example)
  2. Properly hem something (COMPLETED 1/26/2015 – The Skinny on Alterations)
  3. Use a serger (COMPLETED 1/23/2015 – I Heart Valentine’s Day)
  4. Ruffles
  5. Buttonholes
  6. Paper piece a quilt block (COMPLETED 10/2014 – Paper Piecing Time Machine)
  7. Piping

Garments

  1. Something I can wear to work
  2. Refashion an oversized hoodie
  3. Lace belts (here’s the tutorial)
  4. Swimsuit cover-up
  5. Dress made using a tank top for the top half
  6. Cardigan, bolero or jacket
  7. A dress that feels retro (maybe for Dapper Day at a Disney Park!)
  8. A replica of Liesl’s gazebo dress from the Sound of Music — I have a feeling this will be the last project I ever complete on this list, LOL… dream big! I have yet to conquer garments, let alone fancy movie replica garments! (here’s the pattern)
  9. Some sort of hat / headband / headwear (COMPLETED 01/2016 – I made a hat)

Using stuff I already have

  1. Something using the Marimekko fabric I got in Finland (!!!)
  2. Simplicity 2685 (COMPLETED 4/2016 – Simplicity 2685, aka, the six-year-project)
  3. Simplicity 2493 (Three different rag quilts – caterpillar, turtle or dinosaur)
  4. Simplicity 2935 (Three different rag quilts – butterfly, owl or flower) (COMPLETED 5/2018 – Welcome, Baby Nora!)
  5. Simplicity 3956 (Six different tank tops / shirts)
  6. Simplicity 4127 (Six different tank tops)
  7. McCall’s M5949 (Halloween crafts)
  8. McCall’s M6353 (Infinity dress)
  9. Butterick B5432 (Pajamas)
  10. Upcycle an old shower curtain or bedding and turn it into something else (COMPLETED 9/21/14 – Just airing some dirty laundry. Shhh! and 1/23/2015 – I Heart Valentine’s Day)

Kids/Toys

  1. Something for an 18″ doll (COMPLETED 2/14/15 – In defense of making doll clothes)
  2. A Disney Princess inspired apron for dress-up (Here’s an example)
  3. Something wearable to gift to a child
  4. A toy-car roll-up (like a crayon roll, but for toy cars)
  5. A crayon tote (a crayon roll / tote bag combo)
  6. A fleece “lovey” (blanket/stuffed animal combo)
  7. Plush playhouse (from One Yard Wonders)

Open-ended projects

  1. Something inspired by a Disney theme park attraction
  2. Something inspired by a Disney character
  3. Something inspired by a children’s book
  4. Something inspired by Russia (to pay homage to my international trip!)
  5. Something inspired by my alma mater, Miami University
  6. Something inspired by my hometown, Chicago
  7. Something inspired by my personality type
  8. Something inspired by scuba diving / the ocean
  9. Something for a charitable cause
  10. Something for my friend Joe’s classroom
  11. Something inspired by the north woods of Wisconsin (a family favorite vacation destination)
  12. Something inspired by safety
  13. Something inspired by exercise / working out
  14. Something I teach a group of friends to make during a sewing party! (COMPLETED 9/4/2017 – Sewing with friends)
  15. Something inspired by dentistry (gotta love my family of dentists)
  16. Something inspired by childhood nostalgia — the 80’s/90’s (COMPLETED 9/2015 – Chris’s (Mega) Birthday)
  17. Something inspired by my favorite animals – sheep!
  18. A zipper pouch that is an odd shape (similar to the tea cup pouch, but something I come up with on my own)

So there you go! I had a hard time splitting the list into categories and having the numbered bullets actually list the numbers 1 through 100, but I promise there are 100 projects listed there. One Hundred Projects on the horizon, guys! Plus a whole bunch of miscellaneous projects that are sure to pop up throughout the journey. Like I said before, these aren’t the ONLY projects I’ll be working on — after all, this doesn’t include any of the top secret stuff. 😉 Thanks for following along and supporting me through the first 100 blog posts! LindsaySignature

Ninety-Nine and a Half

Remember when I told you the last post was number 99, and the next post would be my hundredth blog post? Well, apparently I lied. When I published the last post, I got a pop-up thanking me for contributing my NINETY-EIGHTH post. What! How did I mess that up? I thought I had this all figured out. Apparently not. I’m fairly certain I could have gotten away with this lie and just said the next post was number 100 anyway. But I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So here’s a mini-update I’ll call Ninety-Nine and a Half… which would make my next post the hundredth. Sigh.

Anyway, this is perfect timing because I have a mini-update. Remember the Pencil Bunting 101 tutorial from my friend Joe a few weeks ago? Well, now that school is officially in full swing, he’s sent some photos of his banners in action!

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: how to create pencil bunting banners for your classroom

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Ninety-Nine!

Guess what? This is my 99th blog post, with my 100th just around the corner! It’s taken me a pretty long time to get here, considering my first post was on October 19, 2010. But my last-minute decision to go to grad school in 2011 meant my blog took a really, really long break and I’ve recently hopped back on the sewing train. Celebrate!

In my next post, I’m going to announce a cool new idea I have up my sleeve in honor of the 100th post. But for number ninety-nine, I thought it would be fun to dig into the archives and highlight some of my previous projects – including some that were never even mentioned in my blog. This is just as exciting as getting the DVD and watching the extra scenes that were cut out of the movie, right!?

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The force is strong with this one!

Whenever I come across licensed character fabric in the remnant bin, I feel compelled to buy it. Licensed fabric is expensive, and remnants are a great opportunity to get the fabric for 50-75% off, depending on the sale. So that’s exactly what happened a few days ago when I came across some Star Wars fabric in the bin. I’m not really a Star Wars fan, but I have plenty of friends who are. And my association with Disney in recent years has made me familiar enough with the franchise that I knew I could put it to good use.

When I got home and added the purchase to the ABYSS I call my fabric bin, I felt guilty for being such a fabric hoarder. I definitely buy more fabric than I use. I’ve been pretty good about avoiding fabric purchases for some time now, but like I said, I have this thing about licensed fabric. So I decided I needed to immediately start using up some fabric for something — anything. Starting with Star Wars.

The Star Wars print, which was supposed to look like a bunch of comic book covers, had a rectangular shape on it that looked almost exactly the size of the zipper pouches I like to make. So I had to try it.

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Lindsay’s (not-for-knitting) Bag

Remember when I made my roommate Katie this whimsical knitting bag for Christmas?

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Amanda's knitting bag pattern review

I recently decided I wanted a bag of my own! I was keeping skeins of yarn in one of my favorite reusable grocery store “green bags,” and to be honest, I just wanted the bag back in my collection for grocery purposes.

The only thing is — I don’t knit. So this is really more of a crochet bag, because I crochet. But the pattern is technically called Amanda’s Knitting Bag by the Sometimes Crafter, so it feels blasphemous to call it a “Crochet Bag.” So I affectionately call this Lindsay’s (not-for-knitting) Bag. 🙂

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Sophia’s Quilt

NOTE: I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about where to find/purchase this pattern. The pattern is out of print (I had to purchase my copy from etsy). If you’re in search of this pattern:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

This is a long overdue post to talk about a project that wrapped up a loooooong time ago! Based on my blog posts alone, you may think the mustaches and elephants quilt was my very first rag quilt. But … it wasn’t. My very first rag quilt was completed months and months prior to that when I tackled the now out-of-print Simplicity 4993. I’d had this pattern on my radar for a long time so when I discovered it was recently retired, I jumped on etsy and grabbed a brand new copy.

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Simplicity 4993 Teddy Bear Quilt Continue reading

I’m not a dentist (and other weird facts)

I come from a family of dentists. Three generations of dentists, in fact. My grandpa was a dentist, my dad is a dentist and my brother is an oral surgeon. We even have a photo of my grandpa working as a dentist during WWII.

Written on the back of the photo: Somewhere in France, doing dental work on a soldier in an apple orchard. My dental assistant on the right.

Written on the back of the photo: Somewhere in France, doing dental work on a soldier in an apple orchard. My dental assistant on the right.

My dad retired this week, so I guess I should have said he was a dentist – in the past tense. But given how important dentistry is to my family, you can understand why it feels a little weird to say it in the past tense. My dad’s retirement has been a pretty big deal around here. Especially because now I’ll have to start buying toothpaste for the first time in my life.

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Inspiration from up north: Jill’s denim quilt

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a sparkling sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides and admiring the majestic greatness of a northern summer. I spent this past weekend in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, visiting my brother Jason and future sister-in-law, Sarah. We spent the weekend celebrating Jason and Sarah’s recent engagement and new house in addition to my dad’s retirement from dentistry. I also visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time!

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Wisconsin as seen via my iPhone — A new “You Are Here” Starbucks mug, the infamous
terrace chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Belgian Red cherry ale.

While I love my “Florida life,” spending time up north during the summer is always special. Everything feels just a little different outside of Florida – the grass is softer, the breezes cooler and the sounds reminiscent of my childhood summers in the Chicago suburbs. And of course, a change of scenery is always inspirational for a creative soul. I first realized this a few years ago when I wrote about some regional differences I noticed when visiting a fabric store in Northern Wisconsin.

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