Make a Duvet out of Vintage Sheets!

Nest Decorating has a duvet tutorial – by making it out of floral bed sheets! What a great idea for a hotter climate, or just summer. You could use a very lightweight filler. Would be adorable with Nick & Nora sheet patterns for childrens’ rooms. Gets the ol’ gears spinning in the head, doesn’t it? Check out local thrift stores for vintage floral patterns if you are into Shabby Chic. I have found some of the neatest things at Goodwill lately. I am seriously addicted.

Escapades with Ben & Minky Fabric Ideas

Today I went to JoAnn’s. Actually, twice. I hesitated going at all because Benjamin was grumpy and I was too. I knew the day would go much more smoothly if I just stayed home. My friend was going, though, and I love to feed off her beautiful energy so I went along with the idea, hopped in my car, and met her there. It helps that our children are in love (she’s 2 and Ben just turned 3 and he calls her is “grill-friend”). Anyway – Ben would not put down a bolt of fabric. It was hideous green with dinosaurs but he loved it. It was in the same aisle as the Minky fabric and he actually pulled down a matching soft green dotted fabric too – yes, he had two bolts. Unbelievable. Then he wouldn’t let them go and so I gave in (I had two 50% off coupons to use) and got 2 yards of each fabric to make a quilt for him. We had the fabric cut and when they bagged up his fabric, he wanted the bolt instead. He cried and cried for the bolt of dinosaur fabric. It was insane. I tried showing him we had purchased some and it didn’t suffice (anybody else going through the stubborn 3 year old phase?). I purchased some matching green thread and went to lunch with my friend. Afterwards, I found another coupon that was going to expire on Saturday so I went back in for binding material. I lost track of Ben and — guess what? — he came walking out of the aisle with the newly-put-away bolt of dinosaur fabric. What a crazy kid. On the way home, he slept with the fabric in his car seat. I told the realtor no showings for tomorrow because I am going to have to make that stupid quilt in one day. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll be sure to post pictures tomorrow. The pictures above are inspirational ideas found on flickr from Southern Sassy Pants, Snug A Bug Blankets and Baby Gees.

How to Make a Ric-Rac Brooch

Found at Craft Stylish. I think I got this link also from the Craft e-zine. I don’t know what I would do if my in-box didn’t receive their daily update. I love browsing through the collection and rarely does a day go by where I don’t like SOMETHING in their offerings. Inspirational stuff!

Making Baby Layette Gown out of T-Shirts

I saw this idea on CRAFT the e-zine and followed the link to This Mama Makes Stuff. What a great idea – take those super nostalgic concert t-shirts and make them into stuff for the next generation. Love downcycling and retaining the sentimental value. Great idea!

Craft / Sewing / Knitting Room Storage Ideas

I ran across a few articles with some great ideas on craft room storage. Check out these pictures and follow the links to the original postings for even more ideas! Hope they spark a little cleaning on your craft room! The pictures above are from Apartment Therapy. There’s also a fabulous video or two showcasing her studio on Anne’s Crafty Storage blog here.

Free Pillowcase Sewing Pattern

For those of you who are a beginner like me, check out Karlee Fuch’s FREE pillowcase sewing pattern here. Sweet dreams!

Creating Clothing Labels for Sewing & Knitting

Interesting concept. I’ve come across a few sites that I don’t want to forget and – just in case you’re interested – thought I’d put them here to share with you. First, there’s a great tutorial by Grumperina on how to make your own custom labels with ribbon and an inkjet printer here. She also has a great knitting blog. Thorough as she is, there’s also a great tutorial on cabling here.

Next, I’m bookmarking several companies who will produce your labels professionally: namemaker, Northwest Tag & Label, Clothing Labels 4 U, and Custom Couture Label Co.

A few other options: I’ve heard also that you can search ebay and etsy sellers for custom labels as well. If you really like to control the creative process – print your label onto inkjet transfer fabric and create your own to sew in the seam.

Photo above from the Clothing Labels 4 U website.

My French Blog Obsession

I have been obsessed with reading French blogs lately. They are so interesting! What is it that makes French women so interesting and beautiful? Here are some of my favorite places to lurk:

1. Claire et Coutures
2. Lili lui
3. Mars Avril Mai
4. Nabe fabric
5. Douceur Temeraires
6. Autour d’Une Tasse de The
7. Trois-Trente
8. 22 Rue
9. Mademoiselle Milou
10. Les Manies de Melanie

That last one makes me want to have my own little French baby named Fleur just so I can knit her a sweater like that!!! Sooooo precious. Hope you enjoy the links as much as I have. I also have to thank Zoelioth – my first French blog place that I lurked.

Repair Post: Mending Jeans

In the spirit of the Repair Manifesto that I posted about here, this is a great idea for mending jeans. As it turns out, Craftzine is having March be their Mending Month and I’ve been enjoying all sorts of mending ideas all month long…check out the archives here.

How To Recycle a Child’s T-Shirt into a Pillow

Very cute idea from A Patchwork World. Instructions can be found here.

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. How about Repair?

Forewarning: soapbox ahead. So I bought that older but very nice serger last week from Craigslist. It had been sitting in someone’s home unused and is practically new. I was so excited about it that at church Sunday I wanted to get some ideas from a seamstress acquaintance. I humorously mentioned it took me a whole day to learn to thread the machine and she said, “Well, I have a such-and-such with an air threader so I don’t have to worry about that.” I was immediately disheartened. Instead of helping me with ideas of what to CREATE with my new serger, the biggest, best and newest seemed to be more important. I am so anti-big, anti-best and anti-new lately that it saddened me. Why do we always need to upgrade? Why can’t we appreciate (heaven forbid WORK and LEARN) how to use older things do they don’t end up in landfills? Really threading my old machine isn’t so bad. You just have to – gasp – look at the manual and use it enough to remember how to do it. I realize there are times when we really do need to upgrade (our friends, perhaps? okay, just kidding) but we need to start thinking more about the consequences of our choices – even in sewing machines. Just because you CAN, doesn’t me you SHOULD. That has been my mantra of late and it applies to so much more than sewing machines. I like to think that if I had millions of dollars I still would not indulge in $1,000 per night hotel rooms. There are so many better things to be done with money. Children are starving. People are living in poverty. I just can’t personally justify that kind of excess. I love this Repair Manifesto found on Replayground but originally from Core 77 via Platform 21. It’s all in the little things because those little things add up – if we all were more aware and tried just a tiny bit harder – we really could have a big impact. One of my favorite scriptures is in the Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6 “…by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” Go small. Go simple. A big hurrah for restraint (if only I had a little restraint on my blog…ah, I’m not perfect, either). Off. Soapbox. For now.

P.S. This little episode regarding sewing machines comes after a couple of times when I heard women at my own church who should know better bragging about the biggest, newest, and best type of stand mixer a person could buy. Viking, Kitchen Aid, Magic Mill….please. Do whatever works for your family – bread is just about as good made by hand.

Happy Early Birthday to Me!

Don is soooooo sweet. He always lets me pick out my own presents. I think he secretly prefers it that way. My birthday isn’t until April but I saw a serger on Craigslist and have wanted one ever since Becky Wilford serged us a Christmas tree skirt in 1992, so I emailed the guy and gave a lowball offer — and he accepted it! So we met halfway and Don stalled the car by leaving the ignition on so we had to call for a jump from some friends at church (thanks, Brother Jim Barnes) and then we made it home with our new baby….I mean serger. It didn’t come with a manual but I contacted Janome (the maker of MyLock) and they sent me one via email the very next morning. I am so excited. I might miss a few posts just because I’m trying to thread it (threading alone could take days for me – steep learning curve!). Tell me what you make with your sergers. I’ve heard they are to a regular sewing machine what the sewing machine was once to hand sewing. I’m excited to make tablecloths at the very least. Oh, but look at these serging projects at Janome’s website – this fleece blanket is so very cute! Happy sewing!

Yes, the dirty dishes in the background are also mine. They have since disappeared. I promise. I left them to do more important things. Like blogging.

Pottery Barn & Buttons

So many people are taking it on themselves to create some of Pottery Barn’s button art. It is beautiful but I say try something different with the same idea – check out these buttonified curtains. Beautiful! Embellish-away. Curtain idea from Better Homes & Gardens online.

Crafty Chica’s Sewing Machine Giveaway

Wow. A really decked out Janome. Talk about bling! Sewing machine bling – who knew?! There’s a fantastic giveaway going on now at The Crafty Chica. To enter the giveaway, send an email to amalec(at)randomhouse(dot)com with Crafty Chica Sweepstakes in the subject line. Information on this giveaway was from CRAFT Magazine.

Fat Quarter Tote Bag Tutorial & Giveaway

From Cicada Daydream. Enter the giveaway here. In case you don’t win, here’s the tutorial on how to make one yourself. Deadline to enter is February 18, 2009.