Monday, November 29, 2010

Special Order Crayon Rolls

An art sale patron specially ordered two crayon rolls from me.

Crayon Rolls

She wanted them in time for Christmas to give to her grandchildren.

Crayon Rolls

Her only specification: one for a boy and one for a girl.

Crayon Roll

It was a pretty simple order to complete.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Table Runner

S asked me to make a Christmas table runner for her shop. Her only suggestions about what it should look like were "not too fussy or busy."

I decided on a simple applique of three trees on a linen background. The runner is 60" long and 13" wide.

Christmas Table Runner

For the trees, I used a lightweight fusible product and then straight-stitched around the edges. I like the raw-edge applique look, but don't use it very often.

Christmas Table Runner

The border and backing is an apple green color that didn't photograph well. I was happy with the mitered corners, but they don't look so good (a little lumpy) in the pictures. I do really like the narrow folded border inside the green one. I only had a small amount of the striped fabric, but think this was a good way to use it.

Christmas Table Runner

Christmas Table Runner

I was so happy with this when I finished it a couple of weeks ago, but now that I'm looking at the pictures, I'm less than thrilled. I'm really hoping that it is just the pictures, but it looks wrinkly and rumpled to me. I think I would have noticed that in real life and fixed it. I tend to be hypercritical about the things I make to sell. The runner has been at S's shop for a few days now, but after this post I feel like I should go check on it to make sure it really looks okay.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jeans Re-purposed As An Apron

Early in the summer, a woman from church gave me a bag of fabric that she wasn't going to use. It was primarily quilting cotton in farm and boyish prints. This was a great addition to my stash and I've used a few of the pieces. She also included an apron that she had picked up at a farmer's market in Alberta when she was on vacation. The apron was made from an old pair of jeans. She thought it was pretty neat and wanted me to see it as maybe I would be interested in making them, also. The apron was an interesting thing to see, but it wasn't something that was going to be high on my list of things to make.

Fast forward a bit to August when I was on an uncluttering rampage. I got rid of heaps of things that were not enhancing my (or my family's) life in any way, shape or form. (Side note: I find the Unclutterer blog very inspiring. So many good ideas and insights there). Fast forward again to a few weeks ago when this woman asked for the apron back. I looked everywhere the apron could be, but I think it got caught in my rampage. I don't know exactly where it ended up, but it wasn't in my house and I wasn't hopeful about getting it back. Gulp. I explained to this woman that I did not have it anymore and apologized profusely. Apparently, she was just lending the apron to me and was going to want it back from the beginning. I missed that part of the conversation entirely. Together we decided that I would make her a new one to replace the one that I lost.

There are many tutorials out there for aprons made from old jeans, but they are all half-aprons and I know the one I was replacing was a full apron with a bib. Unfortunately, I could not remember exactly what the original looked like, so I had to come up with my own thing.

Blue Jeans Apron

There isn't a lot that needs to be explained here. For the lower part of the apron, I generally followed the same steps as this tutorial, but I cut off the waistband at the side seams and didn't mess with the yoke (because the jeans I used didn't have one). The lower and side edges are just turned back and stitched (after serging the raw edge).

Blue Jeans Apron

The bib part of the apron is the lower part of one of the legs - I used the pant hem as the top edge. After finishing the side edges, I lapped the lower part over the bib and top-stitched along the waistband edge.

The waist tie is not attached to the apron - just threaded through the loops and tied in the back. The neck strap is stitched on the back of the bib and is adjustable. I added the pocket just because it seemed to need something else.

I haven't given this apologetic apron to this woman yet, but I really hope she is happy enough with it. And now I know that when someone gives me something, I should ask, "Do you want it back if I don't use it or want it?" Lesson learned.

Next Up: A Christmas table runner

Monday, November 15, 2010

After the Sale

It's been over and done with for more than a week now, but I had a good experience with the art sale that I was participating in. While I didn't take an actual count, I think I sold about half of the items I brought. The other artists were fun to chat and visit with and it was neat to meet the customers and talk about some of the things I'd made. I really have no desire to join the craft show circuit and do a sale every weekend, but this was a good opportunity to try it out. I'll likely do the same one next year.

In the last week, I've been working on all of the things that I'd postponed until the sale was over - sewing and otherwise. Most of the sewing is for other people. I've decided that once I finish the things I've currently agreed to do, I'm not taking anything else until January.

S liked the idea of the bigger star pillow when I dropped off the other pillows, so I made one that is 50% bigger than the hanging ones. To give you an idea of its size, here it is on my couch with another pillow:

Large Christmas Star Pillow

And here it is with my two-year-old daughter:

Large Christmas Star Pillow

S thought a couple more of the hanging ones would be good, too. I made two more just like the first ones.

Christmas Star Pillows

Next Up: an apologetic apron.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Final Pieces

These zippered pouches are the last things I sewed for the art sale.

Make-up Bags

I made three others awhile ago that I'm going to include also. Not terribly exciting, but I thought it would be good to have some simple things at a lower price point.

Make-up Bags

The sale starts tomorrow (and ends on Sunday) and other than setting up my table, I'm ready to go. So excited!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More Gathered Clutches

Many of you had positive things to say about the gathered clutches I made a few weeks ago (thank you!), and I was quite enamored with them myself so I made five more to sell this weekend.

Gathered Clutches

My favorite of this bunch:

Gathered Clutch Close-up

Sometimes sewing multiples can get tedious, but using different fun fabrics for each helps each one feel new.

Gathered Clutches

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shopping Bags

Most stores in our town charge you a nickel for a plastic bag when you check out. I love this practice and the way that it encourages people to bring their own cloth bags or reuse their plastic ones. My habit of bringing along bags to the grocery store is well established, but I used to find myself stuck at places like the drug store or farmer's market or other impromptu stops. Then I picked up a bag at an upscale kitchen goods store that rolls up quite compactly. Now I keep that in my purse, so I always have a bag with me.

I like my bag so much that I wanted to replicate it for the art sale. The final result is a hybrid of the bag I purchased and these that I made last year.

Reusable Grocery Bag

The bag is a little bigger than the average plastic grocery bag. The velcro tab is used to keep the bag rolled up, but also can close the top of the bag when it is full.

Reusable Grocery Bag

Most of the bag is a single layer of cotton, but the handles are faced. There is a double row of top-stitching around both edges of the handles. The sides have a gusset and are sewn with French seams for strength and a clean finish. The bottom is also sewn with a French seam plus an additional row of reinforcing stitching.

Reusable Grocery Bag

To roll up the bag:
Fold the bag into thirds, using the pocket edges as a guide.

Reusable Grocery Bag

Fold the handles down. There will be a twist in one side of the handles.

Reusable Grocery Bag

Fold the bottom of the bag up to be even with the top of the handles.

Reusable Grocery Bag

Roll the bag up into thirds. The velcro on the bottom of the pocket should be visible.

Reusable Grocery Bag

Close the velcro tab and stash the bag somewhere where you will use it, like your purse or in you car's glovebox.

Reusable Grocery Bag

I think these could be great stocking stuffers and I hope other people see them that way, too.

Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable Grocery Bags