Tag Archives: Jo-Ann Fabrics

A Crib Skirt

Over the weekend I sewed the Raptor’s crib skirt. OK OK, so I don’t have a crib yet (I have the mattress, does that count?) The crib is on back order and my parents are buying it, so I’m not rushing the process. As long as it’s here for the Raptor to use, then that’s cool.

Anyways, crib skirt. There are SO MANY crib skirt tutorials out there right now! There are beautiful waterfall skirts, and the “stupid easy” crib skirt, plain skirts, ruffled skirts… And it was really difficult to choose which pattern I wanted to use. I did initially think I was going with the waterfall skirt, but ended up using a tutorial from the Hibler House. Her pleated crib skirt tutorial was REALLY easy to follow. I even followed all of the directions- including the starching! I HAD STARCH! (HOLY MOLY, that MIGHT be a miracle!)

I didn’t take photos, or if I did, I won’t show you. It looked like a funeral pall draped over the ironing board. You know, one of these? Except I used the same fabric used on the Raptor’s crib quilt. Anything that is reminiscent of a pall should not be joyously celebrated for my Raptor. So we’ll wait until either it’s on the mattress, propped up and happily demonstrated or until we get the crib.

I was REALLY pleased with the way it turned out (just not draped on my ironing board). The seams are beautiful and it’s nice and modern. It isn’t stodgy or boring and will look darling with the crib and quilt.

OH- here’s the fabric I used. It’s the Keepsake Calico Filigree Purple that I bought at Joanns. Mr. Lulu actually picked it out (I almost picked out the black) but the purple is fabulous and makes everything on the quilt just stand out spectacularly. I AM glad that I bought three yards instead of two because I used just about all of it and you know how it goes- you buy conservatively and end up needing more, so you go back to the store and it’s gone. At least that’s the story of my fabric purchasing life.

So soon- there will be photos. And I don’t think I’ve shared photos of the Raptor’s quilt yet, I’ll have to do that soon, too!

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What Could I Possibly Need?

MORE FABRIC!

YES INDEEDY!!!

I went today and bought a little more fabric for the upcoming Candy Land show. I found I lack in things pink, so I grabbed a couple yards of:

 

I love the pink peacock feathers. It’s just fun. We’ll see what comes out of this, I’m not sure yet. I am sure it won’t get touched till after Thanksgiving though!

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Breaking My Own Sewing Rule

When I last left this blog, I posted a picture of my new birthday pj pants. They are pretty awesome. I came home this afternoon from work and took the waistband off, brought the pants up 3 inches so they’d fit better, and reattached the band. They fit now. They aren’t one massive baggy blob.

Somewhere in my head I decided that it wasn’t so difficult to sew a pair of pajama pants. And after years of sewing lots of things, I realized I never have sewn anything for Mr. Lulu. But that breaks my general rule of thumb. My Cardinal Rule. The Rule That Shall Not Be Broke. And I broked it.

My Rule: Don’t sew for anyone but yourself.

There are exceptions to this rule: blankets are ok to sew, some accessories, and embroidery is fine. But sewing clothes is a number one no no. So whatever on earth possessed me to sew for my husband, I will never know.

But the sewing fairy was on my side on this one. Over the weekend, we went to Joanns and Mr. Lulu went through the flannels. We looked at plaids (yawn) we looked at dinosaurs (kinda cool), there wasn’t enough mushroom fabric on the bolt (bummer) but Mr. Lulu kept going back to … puppies.

Maybe this comes from his love of puppy piles, but we brought home some yardage and I sewed him a pair of pajama pants.

It went remarkably well. One, it helps that the pattern is super easy. Two, it helps that the pattern is super easy. :) With a little taking in, hemming of the legs, and fixing the elastic, Mr. Lulu now has a new pair of stylin’ puppy pants.

Puppy Pants

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My New Birthday Suit

Today is my birthday. This is my shameful plug.

No. It isn’t even shameful.

We are all born with our birthday suits on and as we know, growing up, we get new birthday suits. Sometimes they shrink. Sometimes they get bigger. Sometimes we cover our birthday suits with new birthday suits or dresses or…pajama pants.

I woke up this morning, bright and early at 7am and made myself a new pair of pajama pants. Now mind you, I’ve had a Simplicity pattern for pajama pants for about two years now. And I’ve even been in desperate need of new pajama pants for quite some time. My favorite blue pair are thread bare and the elastic is showing and the casing is almost gone and well, they’ve seen MUCH better days.

This week at Joanns, I found a fabric that’s a fuzzy flannel, a ridiculous stripe that I thought would make a good pair of pajama pants. The good news is that it did! The bad news is for the life of me, I can’t seem to get my sizing straight these days. What I thought would fit, was about five sizes too large and my pajama pants resemble something along the lines of a clown suit.

The good news is is that they are SUPER comfy. I mean, SUPER COMFY. AND…AND!!!! I figured out how to use my blind hem foot. Holy moly that is awesome. Who knew a blind hem could be SO amazing and make cool cuffs?

So here’s a bad picture of my new pajama pants. And how ridiculously huge they are. But it’s my new birthday suit. My ridiculous birthday suit for turning another year ridiculously older.

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I sewed. I took pictures. I’m sewing some more.

Recently, I’ve been sewing. But what is SO AMAZING about my sewing is this time I took PICTURES! I know! It’s crazy and you should probably read that one more time just to let it sink in. I’ll wait.

Go ahead.

Ok….So I suppose now you are saying “Where are they?” HERE! “What did you sew?” STUFF! I’m informative. Thanks to a friend’s tip off that Joann Fabrics was having a sale, I went and hit their 50% off the clearance fabric on Sunday. I bought some fabric, some patterns, some needles (I love to break needles). And I came home and sewed. A lot.

The first dress I sewed was New Look 6936 and its a fun, knit dress. The dress was super easy to sew (once I figured out that you really should follow the directions for the sleeves on the pattern. I mean, who knew that they had to go on a certain way?) It’s a really fun dress and today I was asked “where did you get that?” Yeah, I like that question.

 

On Monday, I sewed New Look 6022. It’s a simple frock, with sleeves. But for me, it turned out to be more than that. It was the firs time I made a pleated collar, sleeves, and a little ruching. And it is just a really sweet dress. It’s black with pink pin stripes: subtle, yet sophisticated.

I don’t have a full picture yet, but will take one. Here are some snippets of the dress detail.

So yeah…those are the dresses I’ve made this week. Can I tell you I am in love with the button? It’s on the back of the dress, so I can’t see it, but it’s gorgeous.

But in the process of sewing, I’ve also been doing some embroidery. I finally finished the set of 6 napkins I’d been working on. These are simple little birds that were in a pattern book from Sublime Stitching. These were made with variegated thread, little French knots (some are good. some are BAD) but I had a lot of fun making these.

So yeah… And now I’m working on a piece for my sewing room from Urban Threads. I’m excited. It’s my first attempt at red work!

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Moving to Ready-Made

Yes, I’ve been sewing. Really, I have. But most of what I’m sewing, I still can’t share, and you’ll have to wait.

But the other day I went to Joanns for the first time in ages, and they had a bunch of purse handles on clearance. I mean, $1.97 is an awesome price! But of course, I forgot my debit card and my “I’m awesome because I own my own company and I get 15% off my purchase” card. So I went back on Thursday to pick up “a couple things.” Well, who woulda thunk that not only did they have some purse handles on sale, but they had a WHOLE HECK OF A LOTTA purse handles on sale. And purse accessories, like feet! And hooks! And latches! And things!

So I bought those things. Yes, I broke down and bough ready made handles. I know. Usually, I’m not a fan of using them. Mostly I’m not a fan because at $6 a set, it tacks a lot of cost into the handbag. I like keeping my prices down and buying pre-made handles, no matter how awesome they are, gets expensive.  Now, $2 a set, I can buy! And boy did I buy!

Lots of Handles!

And I started using them…This little bag, is brought to you buy the book Hip Handbags.

So far, I LOVE THIS BOOK. It’s easy to use and has tons of good ideas! I just started this little number (which isn’t finished, by the way, and excuse today’s photos, I had to use my blackberry).

The bag is about 10 inches tall and 14 inches at it’s widest. The bottom is somewhere around 9 inches by 3 inches. I love this little bag. The reddish translucent handles make it stand out. It’s just fun!

But again, not to harp, the fun thing is I can sell this bag without a huge mark-up to cover the cost of the handles. (Have you noticed how much of a stresser that is for me?)

I’m having fun, taking time away from my hush-hush sewing project and getting back into the swing of things. I’m partially motivated by my Etsy Showcase on May 17th. Yes, self-promotion.

But it hasn’t been all work and no play. Tomorrow I’ll be in the Big City to watch my first four students get confirmed at the Washington National Cathedral. I’m so proud *sniffle* that I sewed a new dress for the occassion.

This is where the picture of me and my dress was supposed to go. But it is a terrible picture and no one wants to see that. So I took it out. But here’s a description: a halter dress of brown, pink, and white horizontal stripes, with a brown band across the top. It’s  a fun summer dress that reminds me of neopolitan icecream. Or maybe, I can EAT neopolitan ice cream and if I get it on me, then no one will notice! And of course, it’s supposed to rain and be gross tomorrow, so I’ll also be wearing a sweater and probably some closed toed shoes.

EEK! Ok, anyways, so YES! So much is going on! But it’s fun and good and so far, I’ve been pleased with getting back into sewing. When I have more bags finished, I’ll get them up and into my blog. And my store…keep an eye out!

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The Cost of Cotton. Ouch.

My absence in blogging this past week has not been due to me being glued at my sewing machine, sewing away till my fingers bleed. Really, it’s been because I have been laid up with whatever disgusting virus this is and the mere thought of sitting up makes me tired. Unfortunately my company has this weird rule that if you miss three days of work, you need a doctor’s note. Instead of being in bed, where I should be, I’m at work, hacking up a lung and wishing someone would put my wheezing self out to pasture.

I don’t know about you out there in Sewing Land, but here in Southern Maryland, I’ve noticed fabric prices are starting to climb. Luckily, I have a very scary fabric stash that keeps me from buying too much new fabric, but on the occasion that I need something specific, I’ve noticed fabric prices everywhere from $4 a yard for a solid cotton to $10 a yard for something designer-branded. And let me tell you, I swoon for some of that $10 a yard fabric, like Timber.

Material Girls Quilt Shop in La Plata posted this great article “What’s up with Cotton” published in American Quilt Retailer. In the article, industry leaders responded to the rising costs. A reminder in the first response by Richard Gross of Avlyn, Inc. is that cotton is a commodity. With flooding in Pakistan, the cotton supplies are short and at the same time, there is speculation of hording. More demand, the more they can ask. Prices are fluctuating between $1.25 a pound and $2.00 a pound for immediate delivery. Marcus Fabrics president, Stephanie Dell’olio, says cotton prices are 100% higher than what they were last year.

Other reasons float throughout the commentary include the weakening of the dollar, labor shortages (and greater demands for fair labor), global economics and instability, and the cost of energy.

While I dislike the increase in costs, I’m all for supporting those who work in the fields and mills so they are adequately paid. I’m also for encouraging our economic friends into using greener energy to produce the goods we like. If prices must go up to support those reasons, then so be it.

One commenter, Jason Yenter, president of In the Beginning Fabrics encourages us to forget the cost of fabric. “Last year it may have cost $100 to make a quilt – this year it might be $115 – $120. I do not think that increase will keep most quilters from quilting. I do however think, now more than ever, that store owners and employees can soften this blow by being even more helpful to customers, welcoming them into their stores, and really pushing quilting as a fun and friendship building activity – customer service is truly what will keep quilting healthy and alive during these challenging economic times and help to keep customer’s minds of the price increases.”

I strive to shop at the local stores, where I tend to pay $8-$10 a yard for cotton, rather than some of the other chains (though admittedly, I will run to Joanns when I know that’s where I can get a certain product or if it’s convenient. Hey- don’t judge, gas prices are high!). I also try to buy patterned fabric that is woven, not printed. Keeping those local businesses open is vital. Like Yenter says, it’s friendship building. The service I get is special and they are willing to sit and talk about projects, machinery, or whatever. And I appreciate the stores that offer programs like “buy X amount of fabric and get a yard free,” like Olde Towne Stitchery in Leonardtown. That keeps me coming back.

So while I don’t know where prices are going (besides up) maybe we can see a return to textile production here in the US. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Maybe we’ll see more re-use of fabric, like when quilts were made of old shirts and other clothes…those beautiful old scrap quilts. Maybe we’ll be hanging onto our snippets of fabric a little more, or holding fabric swaps (I’m all for it!) But where ever it goes one thing I hope to see is people not abandoning the art of sewing (side note to that, and not using synthetics, BLEH).

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