Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Falling Leaves

Finished my leaf quilt top the other day!

Leaf Quilt 1

The pattern is called Prismatic Plants and it's a free download from DoYouEQ.com. You can use the project file in Quilt Design Wizard, EQ6, or EQ7. If you have one of these softwares and aren't taking advantage of the free monthly projects, you're really missing out! Heidi designs the cutest stuff!

Leaf Quilt 3

I opened the project file in EQ7 and made a couple of quick changes. I deleted some seam lines in the leaves because I planned to make each half of the leaf all the same fabric, and there was no reason to have that extra seam in the "body" of the leaf. Plus, I was foundation-piecing the leaves, so who cares about funky-shaped triangles!

And I choose to print the patterns at 7", rather than the original 8", because I wanted the quilt to fit in the wall space above our fireplace. I want to get some use out of this quilt before it's time for Christmas decorations, so the quilting will have to wait because it's going up on the wall today!

Leaf Quilt 2

Choosing all the fabrics for these scrappy leaves was a fun challenge! Although I make such a mess when I'm working on a scrappy project like this (and I don't have the luxury of a dedicated sewing room anymore where I can just shut the door and walk away!). I liked using the fabric swatches on the download page as my guide--

Being a photographer's assistant can be a tough job!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween 2014

This year's Halloween costumes were light on sewing and heavy on the glue gun and felt. But I got two happy kids and that's all that matters. I give you Batgirl and Ash.

Halloween 2014

When we first started costume discussion K. wanted to be Queen Elsa (like 99% of the other little girls out there). The problem with that was that I had already made her an Elsa costume back in March for her birthday. And that costume was getting a little snug. It wasn't going to allow for the layers that are usually necessary for an Ohio Halloween (and they were definitely necessary this year!). As much as I liked how her original Elsa costume turned out, I really didn't want to make it again.

So we perused Pinterest for some other costume ideas and she saw a Batgirl costume she loved. So I made a black tutu, slapped a Batman logo on a store-bought black t-shirt, and added a few other accessories. Easy-peasy!

A.'s costume turned out to be pretty easy too.... once we settled on what exactly he was going to be. He wanted a Pokemon costume, and kept choosing obscure characters you can't buy costumes for in the store (like Oshawott). I just didn't want to put all the time and effort into creating an Oshawott costume from scratch, just so it could be worn one night. Eventually he agreed to be the human from Pokemon- Ash Ketchum. Now there's something I can pull together in a reasonable amount of time!

Halloween 2014

There was a bit of sewing involved with this one. I franken-shirted the "jacket" together from two shirts and added some details with felt. I think it turned out pretty cute! And he got recognized much more this time around than he did last year when he was The Turtleman (from the show "Call of the Wildman").

Halloween night was cold and rainy here. K. only made it to a few houses before she was ready to head back and hand out candy from the warmth of Grandma and Grandpa's house. A. stuck it for quite a while and was well-rewarded for his effort. People were feeling quite generous since there weren't many trick-or-treaters making the rounds!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Late to the Party

So I finally caved and got myself an Instagram account.

I'm still getting the hang of this thing and it's a little lonely over there now, with just a handful of followers. So if you're on IG please follow me so I don't feel like such a loser. ;)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Desert Rose Dress 2

I made another Desert Rose Dress for K. I told ya I love this pattern!

desert rose dress 1

Last time I made the tunic length, solely because I didn't have enough of my skirt fabric to make the longer version. This time I bought the fabric specifically for this pattern, so I had enough for the dress.

desert rose dress 2

I added pockets this time, which she loved!

desert rose dress 3

Flower buttons again, because they're cute!

desert rose dress 4

I took these photos about a week ago, and the weather could not be more different today. Cold, blustery, and cloudy. I always think of fall as my favorite season, but oh am I sad to see summer leave this year!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

McCall's M6923

I made a dress. For myself.


I know. Weird.

I'm not even a "dress person." But I sooo would like to be. I guess I grew up a little bit tomboy and now when I wear a dress I feel like I'm over-dressed. Like dresses should be saved for special occasions. I'm trying to reset my thinking. Watch out co-workers-- I might be wearing a dress soon! And no, I'm not going to a funeral after work.


The fabric is $3/yard clearance rack stuff, I didn't want to spend the big bucks on nice fabric in case this little dress experiment was a total failure. So, although i don't mind this fabric, it's definitely not my fav.

I expected to be using a size or two larger than my store-bought clothes. The size I went with was 3 sizes larger than my norm, but all my measurements were pretty spot on with that size, so I went with it. (Do you like how I'm not actually telling you what size I used? *wink*) Well, the first bodice I made was comically large. It was pretty ridiculous. I tried taking it in more than an inch on each side seam, but was still way too big. And it did weird things to the fit.


So I cut out another bodice two sizes smaller and it was a much better fit (thank goodness I bought extra clearance fabric!). It's still a bit gappy up by the neckline, but I think that's because I don't know how to make the proper pattern alterations for The Girls. I've read that patterns are made for b-cup sized woman, which I am definitely not. Perhaps I'll read up more on alterations before I try the next dress.


Trying to take photos of yourself is awful. Asking your husband to help you take photos may lead to divorce.

All in all, I'd call this first dress a success. Now, the real test is whether or not I'll actually wear it!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Desert Rose Dress & Tunic

desert rose 1

I fell in love with the Desert Rose Dress pattern by CailaMade as soon as I saw it. I first spotted it months ago on Pinterest, before it was released. So the fact that I actually remembered to go buy it a few weeks ago when it was made available shows you how much I liked it.

desert rose 2

These Park Slope prints are among my all-time favorite fabrics. I started K's birthday dress tradition with a dress made from these two fabrics. I had to make the tunic length of the Desert Rose pattern because, sadly, I didn't have enough fabric to make the longer length. Not to worry— I'm well on my way to making a full length dress version in some other fabrics!

desert rose 3

I'm a sucker for cute buttons (who isn't?). I love when I have the perfect buttons for a project just waiting in my stash.

desert rose 4

Seriously, I couldn't love this pattern anymore. You should make one too!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Terrain Star Mini Quilt

Little bit by little bit, I'm whittling away at my beloved Terrain layer cake.


Now that my youngest is in kindergarten I've got a few quiet hours to myself a couple days a week, so it felt like I whipped this up in no time!


I had fun piecing together a back with the extra HSTs from the front. Sometimes it's hard to decide if I like the front or the back better!


With the last few quilts I've made I've been in a hurry to finish and opted to machine stitch the binding onto the front of the quilt. With this one, I went the old fashioned route and hand stitched it to the back. I like the results so much better! I've got to remember that it's worth taking your time with the finishing.


I made this quilt as a gift for our realtor who helped us sell our old house and find a new one this past spring. We've been in the new house almost 3 months now (how can that be?!), so I've been a bit slow in thanking her. But I hope she likes it nonetheless.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

City Gym Shorts

Just like everyone else on the interwebs, I've made some City Gym Shorts. I stopped myself at two pairs. But these shorts are so easy to whip up, they could be very addictive!

city gym shorts 1

For this first pair I used some extra bias tape I had left over from another project, so it's a little wider than called for. I don't have one of the fancy bias tape makers, so having some already pressed tape ready to go really saved some time.

city gym shorts 2

The umbrella fabric in this second pair is from a fat quarter pack of Riley Blake fabric I found at Tuesday Morning for a steal. Who knew they carried quilt shop quality fabric?

city gym shorts 3

I gave K a couple of choices for the back fabric and she chose this Park Slope print because her favorite color, right now, is "really dark pink". You'll see more of this fabric in another project soon!

city gym shorts 4

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Birthday Dresses

Way back in March, this girl turned 5.


And even though it was quite a messy time in our lives, I still managed to continue my tradition of making her birthday dress. (See previous birthday dresses here: Two, Three, and Four)


I had originally planned to use the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress pattern, but I decided I was too pressed for time and needed to make something more simple. Thanks to Pinterest, this Striped Relay Dress from iCandy-Handmade was floating around in my mind and was just the quick sew I needed.


This was the first time I made her a dress out of knit fabric and she absolutely LOVED it! Every time she wears it she talks about how comfy it is. My fear of knits is slowly fading. I've made her a couple of Recess Raglan t-shirts in knit fabrics too. Maybe one of these days I'll get around to showing those off here too. :)


I paired it with a navy blue cardigan from Target. Coral + Navy = Love.

And, like every other little girl in the world, she loves the movie Frozen. Back at the time of her birthday, we were deep in Frozen obsession mode and she was asking to watch the movie every day. So I made her a Queen Elsa dress as a gift.


I made it very similarly to how I made her princess Halloween costume a couple years ago. The girl loves to play dress-up and that costume is still in heavy dress-up rotation. Even though it's getting a bit small, and to be honest, a bit shabby looking. But, oh, does it make my heart happy that she loves to wear something I made for her so much that it's getting worn out.


I really should make her a princess dress in every color. She's just so darn cute when she's in dress-up mode.



Thursday, July 24, 2014


It's like the new thing in blogging to not post for months at a time now, right? I'm just trying to fit in with the cool kids.

Really, though, we've had a very stressful few months for our family. It involved finding our "dream house", and then losing it. All because the bank made a mistake and refused to correct it. I can't put into words (and I don't know that I want to), how absolutely frustrating and heartbreaking those couple months were for us. I lost 10 pounds during those weeks-- it's called "The Stress of Fighting with a Bank" diet. I don't recommend it.

house zipper pouch 1

house zipper pouch 2
House zipper pouch. Original design.

BUT the story eventually has a happy ending. We sold the old house and found another house, ironically on the same street as the "dream house". We're all moved in and LOVING being back out in the country. Didn't realize how much I missed the country life!
The sewing didn't totally stop during those rough months, but the energy to photograph and write about it did. Plus, it's difficult to get into a sewing project when you have to constantly keep your home in "show-able" condition for potential buyers.

cathedral window pincushion

Cathedral window pincushion. Tutorial here: http://gogokim.blogspot.com/2011/12/cathedral-window-pin-cushion-tutorial.html

Now that we're feeling settled I'm hoping to get back to my poor neglected blog. But there's been a shift in the blogging world, hasn't there? People just aren't posting like they used to. Seems like more and more people are making the switch to Instagram. I've thought about making the jump, but I think of this blog as my way of documenting my projects. And how much can you "document" in a few words?

2 Sided Zip Pouch 1

2 Sided Zip Pouch 2
2 Sided Zip Pouch. Tutorial here: http://www.sewcanshe.com/blog/2014/3/22/2-sided-zips-a-handy-case-tutorial-from-sewcanshe

So I've sprinkled in photos of some of the little projects I've done over the past few months. I plan to share a couple of the more "significant" projects in their own posts. It's hard to get back into blogging after you've taken an extended break (this post has been sitting in my Drafts for a couple of weeks!). Wish me luck. :)

wide open pouches 1

wide open pouches 2
Open Wide Zippered Pouches. Tutorial here: http://www.noodle-head.com/2012/06/open-wide-zippered-pouch-diy-tutorial.html

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WIP Wednesday - 1/29/14

I've slowly been whittling away at what's left of a Terrain layer cake. Among other small projects, I've used the fabrics for a dresden plate quilt and my recently finished Sprocket Pillow. That leaves me with quite a few funky-shaped scraps and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do some improv piecing.

improv block

I know I've still kept my lines nice and straight, but there was no plan to the design. Just randomly added scraps as I went. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it... maybe another pillow to match the Sprocket?

Kaffe QST 1

I've also been making little quarter square triangles with some Kaffe Fassett fabric. I'm not usually drawn to these fabrics, but I love the quilt on the cover of Material Obsession 2, so I thought I'd try out using these fabs in little patches. My favorite fabric pairing is there on top.

Kaffe QST 2

I started out with 3" squares, so when I trim them down they'll be 1.5". Tiny!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

More Knitting

Because what else can you do when it's -3 degrees?

I've knit both of these patterns several times before. They are my go-to's when I just want to knit something and not have to think about it too much. First up, my favorite basic hat pattern: the Kim's Hats pattern from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

basic hat 1

I used Martha Stewart Extra Soft Wool Blend yarn in Lilac. I don't know if these photos do it justice, but it's a lovely grey-purple. I love this yarn because it's soft and priced for a knitter on a budget, like me! I've used this yarn for a Sophia Cowl and a Brattleboro Hat. It knits up beautifully.

basic hat 2

It's big on her, but she makes a much better model than me:

basic hat 3

Next up, another Palindrome Scarf. Cables look fancy, but they're really not difficult. If you want to give cables a try, this is the pattern to knit.

palindrome scarf 1

I love the thick, squishy fabric created by the cables. For this one I used Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in color Winery.

palindrome scarf 2