As with most random craft or sewing projects, this one has a back-story. My brother Derek, who I may have mentioned once or twice, designed fabric for a ‘Year Of The Rabbit’ contest on Spoonflower.com, and then decided to have a swatch of it printed up. (It’s pretty cool actually – you pay $5 and they’ll send you a swatch of any fabric you design. Then if you like it you can buy yardage of it.) The swatch they send is about 7″ x 7″, so I jokingly told Derek that I would make a pillow for his cats (He has two cats. It’s sort of adorable.). Then my fiancé mentioned that when he was younger, he had a mini-pillow for all of the tooth fairy transactions. You leave a tooth in the mini-pocket, you get some money in the morning.
Remember this amazing fabric from yesterday? I made a thing or two out if it when I had the chance. It’s a heavy-duty upholstery-weight cotton, which means it’s meant for things like outdoor pillows or to cover a couch. Initially I bought the fabric because it was only $1/yard (shocker, right?) but it ended up growing on me. For such a heavy fabric, I love the brightness (and uniqueness) of the pattern.
To make this bag I put some plastic sheets inside (between the lining and the shell fabric) cut at the right spots for the bag to fold in the correct places. I remember it being a little difficult to figure out the construction, but as far as durability and storage efficiency, I’d say it was a pretty genius move. Ahem.
My favorite part of this cushion cover I made a couple of years ago would have to be the green men in the pattern. I mean other than the color scheme and overall pattern, of course. (Both of which are obviously amazing.)
When I was a senior I made a quilt out of the left over fabric from some of the high school dance dresses my mom made me. That’s what all 17-year-old girls do, right? The quality is a bit embarrassing to look at now, but I thought I’d share anyway.
The light blue is from my prom dress, the dark blue is from my winter dance dress, and the pink and ivory fabrics never actually got made into dresses. Let’s be honest, it’s probably better that way.
In our last apartment Steve and I had a tiny little dining room table (that fit perfectly under my pattern making table when I started to take over the apartment) that I made a table cloth, place mats and napkins for. Now that we have a real live table with matching chairs (!), we can no longer use that small rectangular table cloth. But everything else has been put to good use. (As with the pillows, these fabrics probably aren’t the ones I’d choose now if I were to make fun new stuff for the apartment. For the time being however, they’ll work just fine.)
I realized as Steve and I were unpacking last weekend that we have quite a few things I’ve made for the apartment – pillows, bags, cushions, bulletin boards, etc. In most cases, the fabric color or pattern I chose isn’t what I would necessarily go with now (since I made all that stuff about 3 years ago), but until I take the time to replace the items they will definitely do the trick.
Here are four pillows I made when we first moved into our other apartment. My goal with these was simply to experiment with a couple of different pillow styles and decoration techniques.
Rather than buy a gift for everyone, Steve and his siblings (and their significant others) do a sort of secret Santa gift exchange for Christmas. I say ‘sort of’ because it’s not actually a secret – everyone knows who everyone else has. This year I got Anne (Steve’s brother’s girlfriend) and since she knew I had her, she requested a hooded capelet as her gift. I’m sort of hating that I forgot to take any pictures of her in it, but trust me when I say that it looks way better on her.
Anne bought all the fabric in Connecticut and sent it to Vancouver for me to construct. Her specific requests were that it have a detachable hood, a pleat and tab in the back and buttons on the pockets.
With the hood off:
I was definitely winging it with the hood patterning and construction, but it ended up that the buttons are on the hood and the buttonholes are sewn to a flap on the inside of the collar. That way when the capelet is worn without the hood, no random attachment places are visible.
This Christmas I made my brothers each a pair of pajama bottoms to replace the ones I made them a few years ago. I stuck with the cowboy theme for Kyle, and went with a rooster theme for Derek. (I think it may have been the color that struck my fancy.)
For the pockets I used fabric scraps I already had. (Cars, motorcycles, soccer balls and skulls all seemed relevant.)
For the cutest and simultaneously overwhelming thing you’ll ever see. BAM.
Yes, that’s correct. This is a giant owl blanket bigger than I am. Awesome, yes? My friend Amy recently asked me to make a blanket for her baby. She’s waiting to find out the sex of the baby, and is using this owl and color scheme to decorate the baby’s room:
**Click on the image to go to oopsydaisy.com.
For some reason that owl made me remember a pattern I purchased about 3 years ago for absolutely no reason. Maybe I just knew I’d need it some day. Enter, pattern:
So I used Amy’s color scheme and this Simplicity pattern to create one whopper of a blanket.
Some of the orange and yellow squares for the stomach area (there were 48 of these. Wowza.)
Those same squares with fleece sandwiched between them.
Figuring out the placement.
The head. Is complete. (I had to turn it face-down when I was sewing the body because it started to freak me out.)
Everything is all sewn together! Then I had to make cuts into each seam, 1/2" apart.
Holy monotony. I seriously thought I was going to be doing that forever.
Then you wash it a couple of times to give it that soft frayed look, and there you have it. Done-zo.
and asked me to make her a longer, fully lined, wool version (as opposed to a wool-blend) of this Old Navy jacket. I made the pattern last week, and sewed a sample up a couple of days ago. Lucky for me, the hips are too small for what they need to be (which is why you always, always, always sew a sample first), and voila!, this coat happens to fit me. I used fabric and trims that I already had, so all that went into this was the cost of interfacing and of course my time. (Yes, technically I paid for all the other supplies at some point…but you know what I mean). Plus I learned a ton about the best way to construct it – if you’ll notice, the zipper on the Old Navy jacket is actually placed off-center so that the placket and toggles can be symmetrical. That part of the pattern was a bit of a headache to figure out. Also, if you ever see this sample coat I made in person, I urge you not to scrutinize the construction.
I can’t wait to sew up the final wool version for Tina. Check back for those photos tomorrow. The suspense, I know.
The rest of my outfit (is exactly the same as yesterday’s post. hehe.):
Shoes: Steve Madden
Shades: Forever 21
Earrings: A boutique in Portland