Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like....Well, You Know....

I LOVE Christmas time. The decorations, the music, the cards, the food, the goodwill and cheer...everything. I guess it was inevitable that I would, since I was actually born on Christmas Day. Yep, three weeks early, right smack on December 25th. The reaction I usually get from people is "Aww....that sucks." And maybe sometimes growing up I thought it did. But overall, I think it's pretty special and the older I get, the more I appreciate it. And my parents made a point of separating it the best they could....they never combined presents, they made sure I always had a birthday cake, and my birthday presents were never wrapped in Christmas paper.

But the best thing about the holiday season in MY book is the crafting opportunities! This year, I have a list a mile long of gifts I'm planning on making. I'm going to try to post some of the best ones here as I finish them.

This week, my good friend Tracey (the handbag genius!) has invited me to be her guest over on Artiste, a conglomeration of artisans on Hyenacart.com.

I have a couple of great holiday items that will be available, starting with the Merry Snowman jumper and matching accessories.

This cute jumper is made using an adorable Debbie Mum snowman fabric along with a buttery soft, 21-wale red corduroy. It can be layered over tights or leggings and worn with short or long sleeves. The dress has a slight A-line shape with button closures at the shoulders. The bodice of the jumper is lined with a soft cotton broadcloth. Cute white rick-rack and topstitching add just the right amount of charm.

And what little girl wouldn’t like to be perfectly accessorized with a matching tote and reversible headband?

This dress and accessory set will be “made-to-order,” and is offered for $35 in the following sizes:

Size 2: Chest size 13" , Length 19"
Size 3/4: Chest 14" , Length 21"
Size 5/6: Chest 14.5", Length 23"

The second holiday item I am featuring this week is the wonderful Christmas Stars Layered Twirl Skirt.

This fantastic twirl skirt features adorable coordinating holiday fabrics and would be perfect with a favorite holiday shirt or sweater layered over leggings or tights.

The skirt has an elastic drop waist and two tiers, each with a double-ruffle bottom, separated by two layers of gold tulle.
This skirt is offered for $35, and will be made to order based on your desired waist and length measurements.

These items (and many others I'm listing, like my cute coloring totes) will be available on Artiste beginning at 9pm (EST) November 25 until December 5. Scroll down to "Cute2Carry" and there I'll be! And be sure to check out all the items from the other artisans. There are some really talented ladies out there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Color Me Happy

First off, let’s talk about my “sewing challenge.” I won’t twist the facts: I bailed. I was good for 4 days, but then we went on a Cub Scout camping trip for my son’s Cub Scout Den and I didn’t get anything made for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. But I don’t consider the challenge a complete failure…I did manage to get some projects done that were sitting around for awhile. I may revisit the “sewing challenge” at a later date.

Moving on…..

I’ve talked before about how I have a fondness for sewing little girl items….face it, they’re just more fun! But I have been toying with the idea of “non-gender” specific items for my Etsy shop. I wanted something quick and easy that would make a good gift for the holidays.

So I decided to whip up some of these great little coloring totes. I’ve seen lots of different versions of these, so I took all the ideas I liked best and put them together.

fully lined little tote measures 10” by 12,” and has two reinforced handles with a 10” drop. It has room for two regular or one jumbo-sized coloring book and slots for up to 20 crayons.

Top-stitching and decorative trim add just the amount of charm. Each tote comes with a sewn-in “It’sSewSweet” label for a professional look. These would be great for Christmas or birthday gifts for the budding artist. And the best part: they are completely washable!

These totes will be available for $15 in my Etsy shop and will come “ready-to-give” with a coloring book and 16 crayons.

I will be offering several different fabrics, depending on what’s in “my stash,” but if you have a specific color or theme in mind, shoot me an email….I may already have the perfect fabric and if not, I can probably get it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Please Don't Feed the Animals/The Gift(bag) That Keeps on Giving.....

I didn't get my posting done yesterday for this week's sewing challenge. I ended up going to bed really early last night with a major sinus headache. But I did finish my DAY THREE PROJECT. So today's post will be a joint DAY THREE/DAY FOUR post.

Please Don't Feed the Animals

For Wednesday's project, I choose to finish something else that's been hanging around for awhile....another item for my daughter. The weather is changing here (finally), and it's cool in the mornings and evenings and only in the 70s during the day. So it's time to put away the summer clothes. Since my daughter wears dresses or skirts 99% of the time, I usually try to make things for her that can be worn with long sleeve shirts and tights. This is one of my favorite patterns to make:

I couldn't get her to model it for me, so I just had to lay it out on the floor. It looks much cuter when it's actually on. This fabric is so adorable. It's a nice, soft corduroy with cute little forest animals on it. Perfect for my little animal lover!

The Gift(bag) That Keeps on Giving.....

Today's project was stolen from inspired by my friend Tracey. Tracey usually makes her gift bags. So I thought I'd follow her example this year and make my own too. They are reusable, but don't get torn and wrinkled like store bought gift bags....plus they are much cuter!

I just made simple, unlined drawstring bags. I made five today in a variety of sizes, mostly from fabrics I had laying around.

On two of them I used ribbon for the drawstring.

The drawstrings are long enough that you can tie them in a bow at the top.

For the others, I made a drawstring out of coordinating fabric. I think these will look great under the tree!

Well, that's the first four days done! Tune in tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Wear My Pink Pajamas in the Summer When It's Hot...

DAY TWO of the sewing challenge.....

For today, I thought I would tackle something that's been sitting around in my sewing room for awhile.....a nightgown for my daughter.

She doesn't discriminate in her dislike of pants/shorts. It carries over into what she'll wear to bed. She has a few pajamas that she'll wear occasionally, but her preference is for nightgowns. And the more girly the better.

Nightgowns in the store are often upwards of $15 or more, and I am far too cheap frugal to pay that for them. Most nightgown patterns for little girls take a yard of fabric or less. So if you're willing to take the hour or so to do it (often less time than that), and if you look for a good fabric deal, you can make a nightgown for under $5.

I usually let my daughter choose her own fabrics (from what's on sale). And OF COURSE she chose a "satin-y" fabric. I hate satin-y fabrics. They slip, slide, move, stretch and are just a pain in the you know what to sew. But she likes it, so hey.....

I used the "cannibalized pattern" method....take the bits and pieces from patterns I like and put them together to make a garment. I used the body from one pattern and the sleeves from another.

And here is the finished result:

All snug and ready for bed! Goodnight, Peanut!

Check back tomorrow for DAY THREE!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Because I'm Just Not Busy Enough.....

My friend Tracey (who creates wonderful handbags, totes, and other accessories) decided that she needed a little extra motivation to get some projects finished....both personal projects and items for her website. So she issued herself a public "Bag-a-day" Challenge....she is going to create something new each day this week and post it on her blog. And she challenged her readers to do the same.

And because I have tons of free time (insert sarcastic eye-rolling here), I thought what the hell...I join her. Besides, we can commiserate together as we frantically scramble to finish something each day.

So each day this week I will be making and posting something new. It may be something for my shop, or it may just be an unfinished project that is lingering in my sewing room (and trust me, there are many!).

Today, Monday November 3, is DAY ONE, and this is what I made today:

This adorable little tote and matching headband is made with the Alexander Henry "Apples & Pears" print, along with a cute pink courduroy and a brown twill. The opposite side of the bag has the print with the brown, divided again by the red satin ribbon. The interior is lined with white cotton broadcloth.

I actually made this accessory set to go with this, which I made last Friday:

This set is available now in my Etsy shop in sizes 2, 3/4, or 5/6.


Check back tomorrow to see what I manage to finish!