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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning. Because I have to...

So, I'm feeling terrible admitting this, but I have a small problem with not putting things back where they belong in my studio space.  I know I should.  I tell my kids to put their stuff away.  I mostly keep the rest of the house (semi) picked up like it's supposed to be...but come on, I have four kids, go to school  have a shop, blah, blah, blah....

Confession time:  This is situation normal for my space.  Yup - I see it now and I think I belong on that hoarders show.  (Don't tell my sister, she'll call them on me!)

Sweet Stella is wondering why the gate is down and she can venture in to the crazy mess. 

You see, I have a few hobbies - sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, photography, collecting antiques, and the list goes on and on.  I have one room (so blessed) to put all my stuff in and it just never seems big enough to house all the treasures and supplies I *just might* need. 

So, what started this whole quest of cleaning up the studio space you might ask?  I stepped on a pin and almost cussed the loudest cuss anyone ever heard.  Yup.  My space hurt me.  It was time to do something about all this.

My dearest husband suggested I decide what I was keeping and what I wasn't (gasp)!  I told him that I had it under control and that I would see him in an hour (ha) and he needed to entertain the children.  He obliged and the mess commenced.  Wait - I am supposed to be cleaning.  Why is the mess getting worse???  Yeah, apparently that's how it work.

I'll spare you the looooong drawn out event and give you a sneak of my favorite part of my space - the fabric.  I used to keep all the fabric in bins, in the closet, or on the tables all around me.  Now, look!  The fat quarters are all neat and tidy in an unused repurposed shoe bin!  It's just like the "real" quilt store!

I also managed to shove that old cubby into the closet (thanks hubby) and snagged the IKEA cubby from the kitchen to make a home for all my yardage.  This was THE very first time hubby has ever seen all the glory that is my fabric.  He wowed appropriately and didn't even cringe - success!  :)

Now, there's a basket full of supplies to list in the shop, numerous bags of scraps to do something with, and an organized happy place for me to work.  (Anyone have projects they do with scraps?  A giveaway perhaps?)

After tomorrow's homework I'll be tackling the scrapbooking side of the room.  Any scrappers interested in kits?  I have a few left overs from classes I have taught.  

So - now that I've spilled the beans...what's your confession?  Do you keep your space all neat and tidy or is it a wreck like mine was?



Monday, May 13, 2013

Braggy McBraggerton

Today is HOT in Oklahoma.  The kids keep running outside and jumping on the trampoline for a few minutes and then coming back in bringing all that hot air with them.  Ugh.  I have spent my time today split between the endless piles of laundry and a couple of projects on my to do list.  I feel accomplished - I'm not gonna lie.  You hear that?  It's me blowing my own horn. *toot toot*  But, honestly, if I can't do that here, then what the heck do I have a blog for...right? :)

Accomplishment #1:  Wait for it - the blind hem!  Wahoo!  This is seriously a big deal for me.


Wrong again.

Nobody makes me bleed my own blood.  Nobody!

Blind hem on the underside!

Correct again!
Blind hem on the outside!  See how "invisible" it is!!!

I made this dress on Saturday for my niece.  This whole seersucker theme is for their family pictures on the beach!  She liked the dress, but required a little something to girl it

Accomplishment #2:  Shabby Chic Fabric Flower
I think it turned out divine!  It's removable and can be put on the strap, the waistline, or in her hair.  
Girliness unlocked!

And last but not least was a new one for Connor and I.  He usually models all ties and bow ties for me, but today was asked to model his new shorts.  Of course, our deal is contingent upon a lollipop.  However, this go around he was insistent that he get to use the lolli as a prop.  What can I say? The kid's got negotiating skills.

Accomplishment #3:  Copycatting a pair of Gymboree shorts to make our own more sock monkey-ish pair.

One satisfied customer!

That's it for today.  It's time to tend to the mountain of laundry that needs folding and maybe a little time running through the sprinkler.


aka (Braggy McBraggerton)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sewing for Boys: You want me to make what?

I have three boys.  They always get the shaft when it comes to my sewing projects because, well, my boys ask for ridiculous things when I ask what they want me to make.  For instance, tonight I got yet another pattern for a dress for Stella (Browniegoose!) and then almost instantly felt bad because the boys are stuck with what little is in my repertoire for boys - ties, applique shirts, capes, and the occasional pair of elastic waist shorts.

You can buy this tie here (shameless plug).

So, me in an all my smartness asked Kristjan (7) what he wanted me to make him.  Without hesitating he replied "a full leather suit of armor."  I'm not kidding...a suite of armor.  What?  How in the world?  We then proceeded to check out leather armor on Google....which is NOT a good idea.  Apparently, leather armor is popular among a "certain" crowd.  Needless to say I understand what he's talking about and now have to find "dragon leather."  You would think he watches Game of Thrones or something (which obviously he does not!)

Tomorrow's task - draw out a pattern for leather armor to fit a 7 year old and find fabric that looks like dragon leather in the clearance bins!  I'm sure I'll be making a smaller set for Connor once he catches on to what I am constructing!  Wish me luck!

This is real deal handmade leather armor made by Karbanog...and what Kristjan wants.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saving Money Makes Mom Happy!

In honor of Mother's Day, I'm offering a 10 percent discount in the shop!  This is a great chance to get your hands on Crafty Betty clothing, blankets, and digi designs for less!

Just enter coupon code:  MOM10 during checkout and voila!

Hurry!  The code expires tomorrow!



P.S.  If you are behind on your Mother's Day shopping (gasp), this is the perfect time to get the Inspire instant digi download.  Just print it, frame it, and hand it to mom!  Well done!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blind Hem Hell

How many of you have ever tried to tackle the blind hem stitch?  It's that one that looks oh so professional and is hardly noticeable.  You will mostly find it on dress pants, curtains, and even skirts.

The blind hem is the holy grail of finishing techniques as far as I'm concerned.  For years I have searched the Internet far and wide looking for a tutorial that showed that fabric flip required to get it just right.  Most tutorials have been all about hand sewing, which is not my thing.  I have four kids for cryin' out loud!  Who has time to hand stitch anything these days?  

Well, today in an attempt to finally finish my Lilly Pulitzer Mimosa inspired seersucker skirt, I decided to go for the blind hem.  It's a high end inspired skirt and it needs that polished look to really sell the look.  Again, I ventured into my usual places for tutorials and stumbled across one that is solid gold!

Thank you Ashley at Make It & Love It!  Your tutorial finally makes sense and gives me the high quality pictures of every step to get this technique mastered!  Plus there's a bonus - her tutorial is WITH a sewing machine!  Woohoo!

Quick - now you can finally hem those pants that you can only wear with heels!  I'll be in the studio...ripping out my mistakes.



Sunday, May 5, 2013

To the Maxi

It's getting to be that time of year where all you ladies are venturing out into the sun in your dresses.  I have not been a dress wearer in years.  It mostly stems from many years in private school where the only option I had was to wear a dress (with itchy tights) and leather t-straps.

This is me - circa 1985.  Apparently, the apple basket was a prop.  :)

Now, that doesn't mean I don't like dresses, it just means that I am beyond particular about the dresses I like.  I know what fits my shape and what flatters my good points.  I feel as though the 50s shirt dress is just right for me.  It has support for my girls (a bra is a must!) and can be brought in at the waste giving me that oh so desired hour glass figure.

So - here's the challenge:  Can we find dresses for this season that are flattering and appropriate for an everyday mom?

What's appropriate you ask?

1.  Must be worn with a bra - preferably not strapless (who can keep those puppies up???)

2.  Must be flattering or at least cute enough that we look forward to wearing it.

3.  Must be durable enough to withstand snot, poo, tears, and potentially puke (not mine - the littles!)

4.  Must be simple enough to construct so that if the littles do ruin it I don't' feel like I just wasted a week's salary and time.

Here are a few that I found that meet my criteria.  Feel free to add your own dresses and patterns in the comments below.  I would love to know what you think is most important in a dress.

Ahhhmazing dress made from a sheet - yes a bed sheet!

This beauty is from Running with Scissors.  It's divinely perfect if you ask me.  There's a tutorial too!

A simple tank dress that is truly fantastic!

Just add fabric length to your shirt.  Your tanks fit you, so this is functional and sexy!  Tank Maxi from A Small Snippet


Anna Maria Horner does it again with her Empire Maxi.  It has great straps and can be altered to be chevron or not, short or long!

Which dresses are you looking forward to this season?  Who wants me to make one for them?