We recently decided (read: my husband generously decided) to turn one of the bedrooms in our house that was being called the “office/guest room” into a usable art space that our daughter and I could use for crafting. In other words, it was a solution to all of the projects (ahem … crap) that constantly would take up half of the dining table. We recently actually had guests stay over at our house so that meant I needed to clean up the room, and it ended up being the big push I needed to really organize and sort things out. I went through some bins of fabric from shopping excursions of the past and came across this cute mermaid fabric that I bought from somewhere I can’t remember. Of course, the second our daughter (now 5.5 years old — what the what?!) saw it, the demand for a dress was made.
Lately my favorite way to spend free time has been sewing. I love making things for our 3.5-year-old to wear, especially when she picks out a particular fabric that she likes at the fabric store. She has this tendency to obsess over something once she realizes that she likes it, and lately this had been demonstrated by her discovery of Strawberry Shortcake. Not the cute, little, frumpy hat version you and I had back in the 80’s – rather the modern, hip, taller, and cooler version that is so popular today. While we were perusing through one of my favorite fabric stores, she insisted that I make her something out of this strawberry-covered fabric. And the first pattern I immediately thought of? Why, the Glass Onion Top of course. It’s my go-to pattern for a simple, casual, and fun top because of the super cute back panels that overlap. I love how there are no buttons or zippers so she can slip it right over her head. And I can make one with less than a yard of fabric – bonus!
Take scrap pieces of fabric, add some ribbon, and a button embellishment to create a simple yet unique card. It’s a great way to utilize scraps and de-stash your fabric bin at the same time.
This card is also my introduction to a word I think I made up: intercrafting. (I can’t find it on Wikipedia or Google searches so that’s why I think I made it up.) Intercrafting is my way of defining the concept of combining two (or more) crafts to create a project. In terms of card making this can be demonstrated by sewing fabric onto paper; by incorporating a knitted element; by beading an embellishment to add to a card; or by hand embroidering on paper. It’s a way to combine different hobbies and to broaden the possibilities of card making with other crafts that I am passionate about. I can’t wait to share some of the ideas brewing in my head with all of you.
I recently learned that a friend had a 40th birthday coming up. I know this person is passionate about sewing and so I wanted to create something special to give to her as a gift. I used a Quickutz 2×2 spool die-cut and created these out of 40 different colors of paper and framed it after assembly. I think it turned out pretty neat even though I didn’t leave quite enough of a border around the edges for framing properly.
Cranking out each spool twice — once for the khaki colored spool pieces and then once for the thread color — was tedious but therapeutic in a weird way. All worth it in the end.
I’m happy to announce that you can now purchase some of my craft themed greeting cards at Gather Here in Cambridge, MA! Here are just two of the many designs sitting pretty in a red spinning card rack near the register. Ideal for popping a GH gift card into, the cards vary in size and feature occasions from birthdays to thank yous to new baby. More cute designs coming soon – and shoot me an email if you have any special requests, ideas or suggestions!
I took the “simple sundress” sewing class at Gather Here in Cambridge recently. It is a two-part class (3 hours each session for a total of 6 hours) and I love the little dress that we made. I made a little dress for our baby-to-be at the time last July, but it was so much better having guidance and professional help step-by-step this time which ultimately resulted in a much better made dress.
Another baby sewing project from the Lotta Jansdotter “Simple Sewing for Baby” book that caught my interest was the wipeable baby bibs made with oilcloth or laminated cotton fabric. However, I didn’t have any oilcloth or laminated cotton fabric on hand so I thought I would search online to see if I could order a small piece to try out first. Turns out that 1/2 a yard was the smallest amount I could get but by the time you added shipping, it was like paying double for it. Ho hum. Well, maybe that idea will have to be put to rest until I can figure out if there’s a local fabric store that carries oilcloth.
Then the very next day, I was strolling through Target and stumbled upon this super cute tablecloth with utensils all over it. I thought, “This is a little too noisy for our table,” and then started to walk away when I realized that wait! It’s got a slick surface on top. <Turn package over> What? It’s wipeable, you don’t have to wash it to clean it? Hmmm … this just might work!
For my birthday this year, my super thoughtful husband shopped from my Amazon wish list (have you made one yet? You should check out their universal registry button. Awesome.) and bought this Lotta Jansdotter book of patterns for me. I added it to my wish list the minute we found out we were expecting hoping that it would motivate me to use up some of my fabric collection on something useful: cute baby clothes and toys.
Of course, instead of rummaging through my fabric bin at home, I picked out a pretty cotton fabric at Gather Here (and used a great coupon by the way) to make a simple pinafore style dress as my first project. Fast forward to a hot and humid Saturday where it was about 20 degrees cooler to be down in the basement and voila! My first sewn baby dress completed in about 4 hours:
Trying to get back into a creative mode, I sat down in our nicely cool basement and went to work reacquainting myself with my rubber stamp collection. Yes, I know these are pretty basic cards but you gotta start somewhere even if it’s slow, right? Also trying a new thing with little “handmade with love” gift tags for knitted and sewn gift items.
Stay tuned for more craftiness to come …
There’s a new yarn and sewing shop in town: Gather Here. It’s located on Broadway Street in Cambridge and boy, is it full of cool stuff! A few of my coworkers and I took a lunchtime jaunt over to check it out one afternoon and were just mesmerized by all of the gorgeous fabrics and yummy yarns they carry. Unfortunately, it’s almost exactly the shop we would want to open ourselves some day so for now that dream of having a yarn shop in the Cambridge/Somerville area will have to be put back on hold. Sigh.
[Before I go on to show you more photos and to point out things we drooled over, I wanted to mention that they are currently donating 25% of any purchase of Echino, Kokka, Kiyohara, and Heather Ross fabrics to the Red Cross to aid with the recent Japan disaster relief.]