Thursday, July 30, 2009

Long beach international quilt festival

My son loves owls, so when I saw this... So cute! I don't actually
like the shape of the owls, but... I think it has potential. I want to
do a big tree, with owls in holes in the tree, and on the branches,
and the moon up on top. Somehow I have to make it cute, not scary or
spooky. The 30s prints will help, I hope....

20 of these done so far...

I LOVE this fabric. It's gonna be a birthday present later this
year... It's a benertex pattern/fabric/kit that I found at Quilters
Garden in Placentia when I did the Southern California Quilters Run.
I don't like kit quilts in general, but this one is so pretty. And
it's a gift, so shortcuts are appreciated. These are the centers of
the blocks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

my excuse

My birthday was last week, and THESE were my b-day presents! I've been really busy reading and getting inspired!
from the top:
Blueprints of Fashion (I already have and love the sears catalog books, but this one is in COLOR!)
The Sew-It Book
Printing by Hand
The Sewing Book
Alabama Stitch Book
(not pictured: How to Make Sewing Patterns)
(and I asked for one other book that's on its way)
I also have been reading
A is for Apron, from the library, and I might have to order it, it's really good.
reviews and sneak peaks to come soon!
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making baby clothes!

I've been super busy, I swear! lots of posts coming, up, but right now, this is my afternoon:

thrift shop $1 XL womens shirt in super soft but thick doublelock knit cotton

cutting a basic shape

all the pieces done! front and back, old cuffs to become new ruffle sleeves, and long strips to strengthen the snap crotch.

and then Babyzilla comes and "helps"
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tangarang: Monday Craft

Sent from my iPhone

Wine cork trivet - Craftynest

I want to make this next.

Sent from my iPhone

Renegade Craft Fair!

here's D at the fair, being a garden gnome. he was VERY excited, cause he loves garden gnomes.
anyway, probably the thing I am most lusting over, still, is this butterfly belt buckle.
it was $50, though, and I was trying to be really good. so I didn't get it, and now I wish I had. I really like it, in fact, I really liked all her stuff, but that belt buckle seemed/seems the most useful.
D got some cute Japanese penguin magnets, and I got some green roving, and we made a little felted whale together, courtesy of the Urban Craft Center, and we block-printed a "scarf" (really just a triangle of grey fabric, but free, so ...) together courtesy of ReForm School. My friend Jen came, with her kids and husband (they've lived in Pedro for a year, but it was their first trip to downtown LA), and she loved it too, (and bought an awesome necklace from Scarlett Glass. I'm jealous). She has only been to craft fairs in North Dakota, and said this one was much better.
can't wait till next year, when I will try to go with a big allowance.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

my chicken skirt!

Here're some fnished pictures (after I wore it, so the skirt is a little wrinkly)
I added this double ruffle to it, the colors match perfectly (same collection), but the daisies don't make it too chicken-y
and the waist is faced with scrap yellow with white polka-dots.
this skirt makes me happy.
so there.
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shirring success! giveaway results!

ok, so I took all the suggestions, and tried to cut what I wanted x 1.5 where I needed to shirr.
I used my longest straight stitch (5.0, on my Bernina 730, but not sure exactly what 5.0 means. it might be millimeters of length?), I handwound my bobbin with elastic thread. (OH, if anyone else has a Bernina or an industrial, whatever, where you put your bobbin in a bobbin case, and THEN put it in your machine, you might need to loosen the screw on the case. At least, I did. when I just put the elastic thread bobbin in the case without loosening the tension on the case, the elastic broke right away, repeatedly, but as soon as I loosened it a bit, it went through just right. I think if I start shirring a lot, I'll invest in another bobbin case, cause it got annoying tightening and untightening the case as I switched back and forth between sewing and shirring)
This is my first attempt (luckily out of scrap fabric).
huge (bad maternity-esque?), and, while theoretically covering me, there was SO much stretch that the teeny tiniest tug from an 8.5month old, and I'd be the flasher mom.
so I re-cut it today (sorry I was AWOL yesterday, I got a migraine, and as a nursing mom, couldn't take anything for it!)and got THIS!

wrong bra and skirt, obviously, and too short for my taste (I'm thinking of adding a ruffle to the bottom, cause I really do like this fabric), but this was how long my scrap was, so...
It's only about 3 inches wider than I would have needed, unshirred, so that comes out to like x 1.1, instead of 1.5, but I really like it.
I think I might try it in super soft jersey next, (leftover from THIS dress).
As much as I LOVE this scrap (thanks Grandma!), I don't have any summer bottoms to go with it. Clearly I need to do more sewing.

BTW, the winner of the giveaway is commentor #1, Tien, so send me an email (lafamiliaburke (at) gmail (dot) com) with your address so I can send you your crochet thread!
thank you all so much for your advice!!!
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Utility sewing

I love my dogs. Really really love them.


they pull like crazy when we walk them. SO we got them Gentle Leaders, and we LOVE what the GLs do, making it so much easier to walk 2 big dogs (one 70 Lbs, one over 100 lbs) while carrying a child and triking another, or pushing a double jogger...

ANYWAY. Our pups HATE the GLs. they're sorta willing to wear them, because they know GL means a walk, so they put them on NO PROBLEM. the problem comes ON the walk. They chew chew chew the chin strap, and we've had 3 wear through now. I've sewn and melted the pieces back together repeatedly, but...

so today I tried something new...

I went to REI and bought something similar in width and general makeup, (the GLs are made with 3/8" wide nylon webbing), but made SUPER strong, (I assume, since its a lot thicker, as though there's something on the inside), for rockclimbing.

and then tonight I cut and sewed and melted again, and made this:

the white/grey part is the new part on the old black GL.

and I have enough left over to do another when the other one falls apart.

so my fix (when ammortized to include fixing the next one) costs $5 instead of buying a whole new $20 collar!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My new snap press...

Is totally hard core! Plus I got 2050 resin snaps. It looks like it
belongs in the garage, and truth be told, that's probably where it
will live. It's so heavy! But it needs to be very easily accessed in
the garage, cause I have lots of snapped projects in my head right

renegade craft fair!!!

I am totally going on Saturday (and if I love it, Sunday TOO).
I wanna see the ReForm School lino-tutorial... I wanna see all the displays, I wanna see everything. I feel about this like my 3yo feels when I tell him he's getting a treat. SO excited, but NO idea what to expect. Just that it'll be good.

shirring help? MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!

Ok, so I know people are crazy about shirring, and I also know that I'm a coward. I need to jump on the bandwagon. I want to jump on the band wagon. But I'm scared!
Today, I saw this shirt at Ann Taylor Loft (click the link for the better picture on the ATL website. Obviously I took my picture through the window ... while pushing a stroller...). I'm a totally sucker for Swiss Dot. Swiss Dot and Seersucker. (I think that means that I love summer?) Anyway, I crave this shirt. In BRIGHT yellow. Granted, it's on sale now, and probably costs less to buy pre-made than it will for me to buy Swiss Dot (in aqua!!! or lime!!! or white with red dots (my FAVE!!!)) , but since I took the wardrobe refashion pledge, I cannot buy it!!! (ok, actually, now that I look online, I'm guessing that it's gonna be even harder for me to make it... I can't find any good colors! I'm gonna have to buy white and dye it. Dye-ing is another secret fear of mine.)

Therefore, I MUST figure out how to MAKE it for myself.
But I need help, Oh Blog Readers of the World.

I looked at the shirt online in detail, and I think it's made of two pattern pieces. One piece for the front and back, and one curved piece for the strap. so I know the shape I want to cut the pieces. HOW MUCH BIGGER DO I CUT THEM!?!?!? 1.5x? 2x? how much fabric does shirring take up?
PLEASE give me a ballpark before I start cutting with abandon tomorrow???!?!!???! (also, please DON'T tell me what Bernina told me about my fancy ruffle foot (~"there are no guidelines, every fabric is different, you just have to take a yard of the fabric and experiment till you get the ruffle density you like.") There MUST be a general rule of thumb for shirring.
SO. As incentive:
I'll do a random # drawing on Monday night, and the winner will either get a Reversible Bean Dress/Top
or a giant box of crochet thread. LOTS of great colors. (by giant, I mean, 12"x12" overflowing). My wonderful mother got me the box at least a year ago, and I had big plans, but now... it's still just sitting there in the closet, taking up room...
So my first givaway is officially comencing NOW.

My new snap press!

It makes such pretty snaps!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Busy night!!!

I just altered 5 shirts for my friend Jenn. So I had to put bust darts
on 2 of them, and refit invisible zippers in the sides of the other 3.
I had to do them all in one night, or they'd get swallowed by my
sewing room.

My new favorite book!

"Sew What! Skirts!"
I made this 1/2 circle wraparound skirt. In about an HOUR! And it fits
me perfectly. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

next up! a summer top for me!

My Next project!
and i love her cheat sheet! much easier than fighting with Word!

bags and a bag tutorial!

a cherry print bag, made from scraps of remnant fabric (so total cost <$1!). made today for tutorial.

Butterfly Bookbag. Note the super short handles. A) I ran out of fabric, and B) the small handles actually makes it easier to carry loads of heavy picture books.

Farmer's Market Bag (it seemed really French to me, not just because of the French seams, but just the colors...) Bias tape handles, and the scrap bias made a pretty bow.

Clothespins Bag. It's made from an old pillowcase (and looks it!) It holds my clothespins very well.
and HERE'S my brand-spankin new tutorial on how to make your own! i made it into a PDF. it's my first attempt at tuting, so PLEASE give feedback (nicely!).

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nothing beats a plate of fresh pancakes
(made in different sizes to entice small people)
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Monday, July 6, 2009

My new dress.

I made it about a month ago, but wore it yesterday for the first time.
It's made of super thin, super soft jersey. Sooo comfortable!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

the Bean's reversible dress!

all made from scraps!
i decided to try this out, i've seen bibs made like this. basically, you just tie a knot where you want a button, so you can easily lengthen or shorten straps, as a kid grows. so i thought it might be cool on this dress/top. plus it makes it more easily reversible with no buttons on the inside, for comfort.

I put reverse-print heart pockets on the front of both sides...
I know an adult could never get away with putting these two prints together, but it works, I swear, on a baby.
I also made some lightweight knit pants out of purple jersey... red might be better, but I didn't have the right shade, and I didn't want to buy anything to test out this pattern.
does anyone want a tutorial on this? I might post the pattern if anyone is interested...
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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy independance day!

Plain n simple vanilla frosted sugar cookies. Stop by our house for

American Pie!

This is for the Bean for summer/4th of July... the dress is reversible
to match the wrap skirt I made last night. (gotta use up all the scraps!)
I made 2 to test my pattern, one of which just got mailed off to a
very adorable 1 year old.
I think I'll do a tutorial/pattern for this one soon.

My helper. Or, rather, one of them.

4 cats, (2 dogs and 2 kids too) are always great helpes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My new skirt!

The wraparound Yard-Sale Skirt.
Adapted from Weekend Sewing.
I'm gonna seriously modify the next one, but it's a good jumping off

Tricycle seat cover!

D got gifted a wonderful Radio Flier Trike from our neighbors down the block. He LOVES it. he rides all over the place, as much and as fast as he can (he usually pretends to be a train of some sort, doing really useful work). He rides so much, in fact, that his butt is all bruised from the hard seat.
Ergo: mama has to make a cushion to protect his "widdle buddum"
just in case anyone else needs to do this, here's a step-by-step of how I made it.
Materials needed:
trike seat (remove it from the trike with pliers and elbow grease while batting away pesky toddler who's upset that you're messing with his trike)
foam (i bought 1/4 yard of 2"thick foam from joanns (ONLY buy it on sale, or it's ridiculously expensive. it seems to go on 1/2off at least one weekend a month, so wait for the sale!)
Leftover batting (i had some junky poly batting left from something old... )
1/4 yard of scrap fabric
scissors, needle and thread.
trace the seat on the foam with a sharpie
here's the shape of his seat.
the people at joanns told me to use a serrated knife to cut the foam. i don't think i have the worlds dullest bread knife, but all it did was make the sides look like this. so i turned to my kitchen shears
voila! a seat cushion shape!
cover it with batting (to round out the edges and ... actually, not sure why i did it, but i know you do this when upholstering things, so i figured i should do it for this....) i tacked the batting down with some quick and dirty stitches
these were the two semi-vintage red prints i had on hand, so i let D choose which he wanted. he chose zigzag (it looks like rows and rows of primary colored rickrack). (so glad he chose that one, i have jumper plans for the polkadot, but i have learned that i MUST give my boy a choice)
i laid the seat (with its foam and batting) on my fabric, and roughly cut the shape of the trike seat. (i took a rectangle and cut 2 corners off, so it was a very oddly shaped hexagon)
i used a lot of pulling and pinning, and threaded my needle with super strong thread, doubled, and sewed the fabric taut around the underside of the seat. i didn't bother covering the underside, cause it's not gonna rain upside down, nor will D be riding through lots of puddles in drought-ridden (ha, pun) SoCal.
D won't stop riding to let me take a cute picture, but at least it's getting used!

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