Wednesday, October 31, 2007


For Halloween this year I've dressed as a girl who was late to work because she was sewing this headband.

Harv is going as the world's most gigundous mustache.

(This is the first time I've seen Harv's naked chin, ever.)

Monday, October 29, 2007


Made for no particular reason:

Puzzle ball from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.
I just wanted to make something small. Something to keep myself busy. This seemed like a good little challenge. It was. Not too much of a challenge though. Just the right amount.
I apologize for the garden hose in the picture. I didn't want to move it because if I did I would have scared away my background models. Here's a closer look.

These two neighborhood (stray) cats like to spend a lot of time in our yard. I think they're married. They're always snuggling each other and sleeping together. But don't worry, they were both fixed by the neuter-fairy so there will be no backyard kittens for us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Green a little green

I am pretty far from being as green as a girl can be but I try. I have found many little ways to be greener that are so easy and really don't take any extra effort, just a different kind of effort. One of my longest lasting green habits is the use of cloth napkins. The habit started in college when some friends and I lived in a house we called "The Green House". It was a theme house and the inhabitants were supposed to come up with a theme that would benefit the campus community in some way. It was really just a ploy to get ourselves into a house sophomore year and only one of the five of us was a staunch environmentalist beforehand. (Hi Allison!) She first made us a stack of cute little cotton napkins and I think she would be pleased to know that to this day a paper napkin has yet to be used in my home. I have a lot of them and they even have their own little hamper in the laundry room (which is right off the kitchen) where we toss the napkins when we're done with them. Then I can just throw them into the wash anytime I have room in a load of laundry.
Of course, after three years of marriage and using the same napkins, my stash is getting awfully dingy. They still work fine but it is much more enjoyable to dab your lips with something pretty. And so:

Pretty little napkins, kind of made from the pattern in Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. I used 18" squares and jumbo rick rack. I made two of each because I only had enough rick rack for four but that is just fine. There are plenty of dinners for two around here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sewing revival

While I did not make it even half way through that pile of ironing from yesterday, I did manage to sew something! I was inspired by this lovely bag made by Kim. Hers looked so nice I dug out my copy of the book and took a whack at it.

The "Pleated Beauty Handbag" from Bend-the-Rules Sewing.
I used some brown wool suiting for the main bag, some Denyse Schmidt Flea Market Fancy for the pleats and some happy orange polka-dots for the lining.
I made some small changes to the pattern, none of which you can see in these pictures. I used canvas instead of flannel for the interfacing to make it thicker and sturdier. I made a 4 inch facing out of the suiting and then lined the rest of the bag with the orange polka dots and I sewed a little key fob made out of the Denyse Schmidt fabric between the facing and the lining.

If I were to make this again I would trim the edges of the lining pieces rather than pleat them as the pattern says. I was going to do that this time around but I wanted to be sure that the bag would remain nice and roomy. I think that it would have, even with the smaller lining. As it is I feel like there's just too much fabric inside of the bag. I think this is made worse by the large pocket. I did make a different sized pocket than the pattern suggests but I don't think it was too different. I just kind of winged it. It seemed a little big but I figured "Big bag, big pocket". It ended up kind of droopy. It will certainly work but I guess I just wish the inside looked a little more tailored, like the outside.

I will certainly get some use out of it though. Big bags are easy to fill with necessities. Plus, it definitely ups the "fall quotient" around here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


The sick puss (still). At least he gets a real kick out of getting in the carrier.
The queen on her throne.
The extent of Halloween in our house as well as a swatch of fabric from the new couch we ordered.
A whole mess of fabric, washed and taunting me.
This is all I've managed to iron so far. Dun dun dunnnnn.
I will sew today! I'm committing!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Take Two

I'm sad to say that two months ago Harv and I had to welcome Pac-y back into our home. He was just too big for his intended family and they had to return him. This wasn't totally unexpected. In fact, I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. At least Pac-y made it home for Harv's birthday.
If you'll remember, Ethan gave me this Pac Man fabric on the condition that I make something out of it for him. Pac-y didn't quite fit the bill so this weekend I took a second crack at it.

Do you know what it is?!? No!!! Of course you don't! You are probably not nerdy enough (though I'm sure there are exceptions). It's a case for a Nintendo DS Lite, the current hand held Nintendo game console (think Game Boy but less old and big).

I don't have a picture of a DS to show you because I don't have one and so I made this case based on dimensions that I found online. So...I'm not sure if it's going to fit. I wanted it to be snug-ish. I just hope it's not too snug.
This was a bit of a challenge to make. I used Peltex on the front, back and bottom for a little structure and padding. It worked well but made it difficult to sew some of the seams. It's so tiny! I sewed all of the layers together so there were raw edges inside of the case. I finished them of with some homemade super tiny not-on-the-bias tape. I don't have a 1/4 inch bias tape maker so I just folded and ironed this. I had to sew it on by hand. I tied doing it on the machine but it was just too hard.
So, it's a little wonky but overall I am very happy with the result. Hopefully this won't be returned to me a la Pac-y!

Update: It fits!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Lots of non-crafty things have been holding my attention lately.
Taking care of this guy.

Visiting the LA county fair.

Just a little bit of sewing.

This is just a little sneaky peek. I'll share more soon!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Make Your Own Fall

As a New Englander stuck in LA, I get most homesick at this time of year. LA knows no fall. There's no such thing here. It's kind of like summer stops and then...nothing. It's not hot anymore but nothing really changes. When four distinct seasons have been ingrained into your soul every year since you were born it can be very hard to do without. It's kind of like living in a time vacuum. There are no signs that time is passing.
The other day I saw that they were selling cute little gourds and pumpkins at Trader Joe's and it reminded me of the first fall we spent out here, two years ago, when I first bought little gourds and pumpkins at that very same store. The memory made me very excited. It actually gave me that feeling I've been missing. It gave me a sense of a new kind of fall, in my new(ish) life in LA. Even though there are no changing leaves, the change in produce works for me and I'll take what I can get.

Since I need to cobble together some semblance of a New England fall here, in addition to my gourds I'll hang this sweet little garland that I made last year. It was as easy as pumpkin pie to make so I thought I would share a little "you-know-what" tutorial with you.

You will need:
  • several different patterned cotton fabrics in fall colors (I didn't use fall novelty prints. I don't like to be too literal.) The colors I used were dark brown, goldie yellow and dark orange with a little red in some of the fabrics.
  • several different colors of wool or wool blend felt, all in fall colors (the number of different fabrics is up to you)
  • 11 feet of natural or brown raffia (you can get this at any craft store)
  • thread, also in a fall color
  1. Click here for the leaf template.
  2. Print out the template and cut that baby out.
  3. Using the template, cut out ten leaves from the cotton fabric and ten leaves from the felt.
  4. Pin cotton/felt pairs of fabric together, right sides facing out, sandwiching the raffia between the two. Space the leaf pairs one foot apart, leaving one foot of raffia on either end of the garland. Don't line the leaves up, all pointing in the same direction. Make them a little more random (like they're falling!).
  5. Top stitch through the leaf sandwiches mimicking the veins of a leaf (see the picture below), being sure to catch the raffia.
Ta-da! You're done. Hang it up and take a picture!

(Seriously though, send me a picture.)