I made a hat

I know the title of this blog post gives away the grand reveal, but… hey guys. I made a hat. A hunting cap, to be more specific.

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I’m not into selfies, so let’s just take advantage of this Snapchat…

Why? Just because. I had a pattern and wanted to try it. Also, making a hat or some sort of headwear was a bucket list item on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects.

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In defense of making doll clothes…

As a baby of the eighties, my most defining childhood moments took place in the 1990’s – so just add me to the long list of millennials who get a misty, nostalgic look when reminiscing about American Girl dolls. Yes, American Girl dolls are still around and have continued to exponentially grow in popularity… but there’s something special about those early years when there were only three historical dolls and purchases only followed hours and hours of pouring over the snail mail catalog.

For anyone who has ever had an American Girl doll, there’s something sort of defining about declaring who “your” doll was – your first doll, or your doll of choice, that is. For me, that was Molly, the character representing the World War II era. I received the book Meet Molly as a gift in 1990, and the rest is history. I quickly plowed through all the books in the series and the Molly doll was at the top of my Christmas list for Santa that year.

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Over the years, I received a few additional outfits and accessories for Molly from the beloved, dog-eared American Girl catalog that arrived in the mail every few months. Then I received a gift for my First Holy Communion from a family friend — a First Communion dress for Molly that even included a clip-on veil. Whaaaaaaat??? My eight-year-old mind was blown. There were doll clothes out there that weren’t in the catalog. There were people out there who could make anything I wanted for Molly. This was all news to me.

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I Heart Valentine’s Day (and #SewMyStash2015 Challenge 1)

I LOVE Valentine’s Day. I know I’m in the minority, but I just do. I really don’t think you need to have a significant other in your life to enjoy candy heart bliss and bountiful boxes of $1.99 Valentines! Sometimes I get a little defensive about it — loving a holiday that so many others despise can be a little exasperating. I always make an effort to give Valentine’s Day the attention it deserves!

I recently completed the LOVE paper piecing pattern by Diane at From Blank Pages, available here on Craftsy. Diane, along with Sandi at Crafty Planner, was offering the letters L-O-V-E for free so I could try out the pattern before committing to the entire alphabet. I created this little quilted swatch using scraps, but haven’t yet decided what to do with it. I think it may become a zipper pouch or just a little Valentine’s Day wall hanging. Ideas and suggestions are welcome!

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By completing the pattern and linking it to the designated hashtag on Instagram, I was entering for a chance win the entire alphabet pattern (including numbers and punctuation) and I WON! Waking up to the message that I had won this morning was so magical. I am really, really, really excited to put the alphabet pattern to good use in the future and make lots of personalized, paper-pieced goodness!

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It’s your birthday, baby!

Meet my friend Laura — we have known each other since we were in kindergarten and she is still one of my dearest friends.

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Eighth grade volleyball, dorky haircuts… and proof that we turned out alright in adulthood despite the dweeby photos.

Laura is pregnant with her first child and due this month! When your childhood BFF is pregnant, and you’re a fan of handmade gifts — the pressure is high! When I first heard Laura was pregnant, I knew I wanted to make her something really special, but I wasn’t sure what it should be. Although I adore the rag quilts I made for baby Liam and baby Sophia last year, I wanted the project for Laura to be one-of-a-kind — not a repeat of one of my previous projects. Laura also sews (Reason #923498723 why I love her) and has made a number of items for her baby’s nursery, so making another quilt didn’t feel very earth-shattering since she had already conquered rag quilts herself.  I was also looking for a project that would stand the test of time. Continue reading

Paper piecing time machine

This fall/winter, I haven’t been that great about updating the blog – yikes. But just because my blog has been stagnant doesn’t mean my crafting has. I’ve been doing lots of things behind the scenes, just haven’t taken the time to write about them. Or I can’t, because I’m in Christmas elf mode and everything is a secret!

So hang in there while I jump in my sewing time machine and show you a project I tackled that has a Jack O Lantern on it. Yes, a Jack O Lantern. I told you I was jumping in a time machine, stop judging! 😉

Even though Halloween is over, I want to rewind a little bit and highlight this little experimental project I tackled earlier in the fall. I took my first shot at foundation paper piecing a quilt block! In my quest to follow crafty social media accounts, I’ve found a lot of quilt-y friends who frequently post about paper piecing. Needless to say, their constant paper piecing posts (can you say “paper piecing posts” ten times fast?) piqued my curiosity and I decided to give it a try around Halloween with this pumpkin paper piecing (free PDF pattern available here).

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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 3956 (Six different tank tops / shirts)
  5. Simplicity 4127 (Six different tank tops)
  6. McCall’s M5778 (Christmas crafts)
  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 (sewing party!)
  15. Something inspired by dentistry (gotta love my family of dentists)
  16. Something inspired by childhood nostalgia — the 80’s/90’s
  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