Tag Archives: quick and easy

Satisfaction Does Not Equal Work Input

I started another quilt…I know, I know. I have three weeks before I find out what the baby is and I have to occupy myself somehow. Right? I can’t sit around and watch trashy reality TV on Netflix all the time, can I?

This quilt I started is for the church bazaar (November 10- Mark your calendar!)

I’m trying to sew as much as possible before I am too occupied with preparing for our new velociraptor to join the family. And really, a side note, this is totally a velociraptor. I hobbled around most of the weekend because of the tremendous pain in my left hip. By Saturday night, I couldn’t get my leg into the bed and we have one of those low Ikea beds…lifting that leg two feet was NOT going to happen. Mr. Lulu managed to move it, with me in tears. YAY! Anyways, back to the quilt…

So I started this quilt and realized something. I realized why I keep saying I’m not going to ever quilt again. I find it tedious. RIDICULOUSLY tedious. The cutting, the measuring, the math, the “OHMYGOD MY SEAMS AREN’T LINING UP!” … it’s all too much for me. I don’t find the satisfaction of a finished blanket to exceed the trauma of sewing the blanket.

The thing is, my blankets usually turn out ok. If you inspect them microscopically, you will find numerous errors, puckered fabric, I don’t hand sew (oh no no, I don’t hand sew). But they are functional. I prefer Monet pieces…they are pretty when draped across a chair or couch and snuggled up with. My quilts will not earn quilting prizes.

I’m actually quite envious of people who can sit there and quilt and turn out beautiful pieces. I really am. I don’t have it in me. I find it dull. And boring. And tedious. The work exceeds the satisfaction of the finished piece.

So while working on dull, tedious pieces, I work on other things that are fun and cute, and where the input is equal to the output, at least in my brain. I do things like these:

Cute little burp cloths from cloth diapers. I love fun sewing like this. And I’ll be making me some of these little guys too. I mean, why not? I have a huge stash of fabric and the diapers are relatively inexpensive. Then I can look at something cute while my velociraptor vomits all over me.


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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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Pillowcase reconstruction, zipper drama solved.

My writing has been inconsistent lately, but I’ll say my sewing hasn’t. Actually, I’ve been quite busy with my sewing! Mostly I’ve been waiting to have pictures to show, because really, who wants to just read me ramble on? Yeah, that’s kinda what I thought.

I’ve had some time on my hands due to some freak of nature (really) and I’ve been able to sit down at my machine and knock out some projects.

The first two pictures are pillowcase dresses I made for two VERY adorable girls. Hopefully their mama will send me pictures of them with the dress on soon- until then, you get pictures taken by my blackberry and they stink.

Pillowcase dresses are absolutely fun to sew and very customizable. Being my first time sewing them, I looked around the internet and found a TON of tutorials.


I also finally sat down to start and finish some skirts for the summer.

The blue polka dot skirt needs a new bottom- like a ruffle. I thought about a white white ruffle, so I’ll probably run out and find some white seersucker to add to the bottom.

And I was so excited about making those pillowcase dresses, I took a pillowcase I picked up at the St. Andrew’s thrift store and turned it into a tank for me!

I think I’m going to add a green ribbon close to where the bottom seam is, about three inches up from the bottom hem. It’s cute and summery. I’ve thought about adding a ruffle to the top of this, but not sure. I have another pillowcase, but I’m just having a heck of a time cutting it apart. The cool thing about this is this tank took about $1 to put together!

OH! And today I finally went to the store where I bought my machine to figure out what was wrong with my zipper foot. Let’s just say….user error. And my face is a little red.

Anyways, back to sewing!

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I’ve been sewin’

This new machine has given me a new lease on life. At least my sewing life. Yeah, ok, so I don’t have an exciting life, but who cares? I have my sewing machine!

I’ve finished a couple new bags, these are exciting. The first pattern is Lisa Lam’s Reversible Bucket. The pattern was available on Sew Mama Sew and I’m totally buying her book. I mean, it’s awesome. The pattern was easy to understand and just cute!

The last bag I made (in the past two days, yeah, I’m totally on a roll) is a little bag I made with grommets. This was an absolutely, no frills bag. Simple pattern, no pockets, no nothing. Just simple. But the handles are ribbon, it coordinates, the picture is just off…and there are four grommets used on the bag. I will DEFINITELY be using more grommets!

And before I sign off and go to sleep, I just want to shout a great big THANKS! to the girls of Alpha Sigma Tau. You always hold a special place in my heart.

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Filed under bags, Crafting, creativity, Etsy, Featured, purses, totes

Teach a man to sew…

And they can make their own clothes (once they get a sewing machine!)

I am SO SUPER EXCITED today. I’m going to teach my friend Kelly how to sew a dress. She picked out a super cute, super easy Mccall’s dress . It has three pieces: a front, a back, and a sleeve. There are no notions, nothing fancy. Actually, the most difficult part will be working with a two way stretch material.  I know she can do it though. And she’s gonna rock this dress too.  

There is nothing more fun than teaching someone a new skill. I know many times people say “I could never sew.” When in fact, they are just too afraid to try. Really, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? It doesn’t fit? You don’t like the pattern on you? So what? Cut it up and and start over! Make something new out of it.

I actually have a dress like this right now. I wish I had pictures. Wait, no I don’t. It looks something out of Courtney Love’s baby doll dress era in the mid 1990s. One suggestion (Kelly actually gave it to me) was to cut it short and wear it with leggings. Maybe…I could just rip it apart and use it for something else. I haven’t decided.

But the thing is, I tried! I haven’t failed…it just hasn’t found it’s being yet.

See, I think every cut piece of fabric knows what it wants to be. You can’t force it to be what it isn’t. Some fabrics take ages to speak to me and say “hey! I’m awesome, make me into (this random thing) and I will totally rock out!” Other fabrics just jump off the bolt at me and say “hellooooooo awesome taffeta dress!” (pictures to come as soon as I sew said awesome taffeta dress!)

Don’t fear the sewing machine. Or the fabric. Or the reaper. Just go try. See what happens. Kelly is going to try tonight and she’s going to make one awesome dress.

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I’ve been absent.

Even Father of Lulu noticed I’ve been absent from my blog… oops. I’ve had good reasons. First, semester is ending. Semester is ending which means a crazy paper (a watershed plan for a river, which my dearest, darlingest Mr. Lulu is currently editing)  and a final. The final is next week. Say a prayer.

Plus, church has been in full swing. Not only did we just celebrate Easter, but my church has been interviewing priests and going through a lengthy search process. Fingers crossed that will be over soon. Plus I’ve been helping the confirmation class and we’re getting ready for that (May 1st).

I’ve had a few moments to sit down with my fabric. Mostly I just like to pet my fabric. It’s so pretty and patient. Today I sat down and sewed a new bag pattern. It was supposed to be small bag but ended up being more a messenger bag. I happen to love it. She said neutral but not neutral and summery but not clashy. Oye… tall order. I don’t know why but picking fabric for family is more difficult than picking fabric for anyone else…

K, I realize this is sideways. I realize it’s a crappy picture, but I took it with my phone and this is what you get on a long night. Maybe I’ll remember and go back and finish it. It has a big flap, striped insides, a magnetic snap, and a couple pockets. I think it’s adorable. I hope Sister Lulu thinks so too.

Anyways, it’s about bedtime. I’m well drained and have another full day ahead of me. Hopefully after semester quiets, it won’t be so bad and I’ll be at the sewing machine more, and here more.

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Snow and Sew

It’s snowing. It has been snowing since about 8am (it’s now 10pm) and there’s enough snow that it’s actually inside my screened in porch.  The plows haven’t even been down the road and the wind is howling. It’s a really icky day.

So I’ve stayed inside and generally had a lovely day napping, blogging, and sewing. I’ve had a chance to work on a couple projects. The Chinese Take Out bag, Chinese left overs, and a medium sized green striped canvas tote. I love these bags. I have had so much fun putting them together. And don’t forget to check the Etsy site, they are for sale!

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