Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Southampton Rosette Tunic Apron

My latest creation is this light canvas tunic apron, bespeckled with rosettes. It's perfect for picking berries and apples.... or just trying to keep your clothes free from spit-up, crumbs, cooking grease and laundry detergent drips. And with the linen pockets, you'll always know where your pen/kleenex/cell phone/lip gloss is located.

I've long been in search of just the right tunic apron. Remember this one? Only this time I used a real pattern. Vintage McCall's M5551.
In my attempt to get a fresh, anthro-inspired, outdoor pic of the new apron, you can clearly see that the only item difficult to see is the apron itself. Booo. At least I missed the rain by 20 minutes. Instead, I'll just tell you about the chocolate brown linen dress that I thrifted for $5 and the apple basket for $3.Here's a little close-up of the sweet print. It reminds me of Jane, so I've named it the Southampton Tunic Apron. They probably pick berries in Southampton, right?
This is headed to my shop soon, along with the tote and some other goodies in the works.

To view a variety of inspiring creations, please visit:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thrifted Finds: Time To Knit And Sew

After several months of considering to buy the Pottery Barn clock on the left, I stumbled upon the clock on the right at my local thrift store. It works perfectly and even came with a battery. Patience = Savings of $40!
I hesitate to admit this, but I was a crafter that had no glue gun. For shame! After a yard sale outting on Saturday morning, I finally joined the ranks of millions of other crafters by adding the glue gun to my tool box... for .25 cents, including the glue sticks. Also, worth the wait.
Just as the doors opened at 9 a.m. sharp, I entered a church rummage sale. About 10 seconds later, a woman announced that everything was 50% off. The prices were already excellent, so this was a pure bonus. I beelined it to the craft section. Behold, there was yarn. Not craft yarn, but real merino wool yarn. Each skein still had original tags of between $6 and $9 on them. My final price was .25 cents each. Gee, I wish that knitting and I were not foes. My eyes caught a pile of fabric in the back corner. Like a moth to a flame, I floated to the light. My arms were so full of wonderful colors and prints, that I grabbed a box. It was quickly filled. Upon checkout, the man offered to charge me $4 for the box. I agreed. He then gave me the 50% discount... final price $2 for the whole box.

There is a time for thrifting and a time for crafting. Oh the joy of trying to fit it all in to one day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poppies Embellishment Tutorial

Recently, I thrifted this simple gray top with satin trim, for $2.75. It called out to be improved upon.

It seems that everywhere you look this season, you'll see flower embellished tops like this and this. Since I wanted to hide the slightly uneven empire waist seam, here's my version...
It's easy to make your own poppies. Start with any fabric that includes synthetic fibers (such as polyester). I used a sheer formal wear fabric in grey.
Cut out a circle. It doesn't have to be perfect, in fact, they look better if they're not perfectly round.
Cut out more in various sizes. I use 6-7 per flower.
Safely light a tea light (or something with a low controlled flame). Hold your fabric edge near the flame and rotate. The heat melts the synthetic fibers to seal the edges and curl your petals. Tip: keep the fabric moving to prevent over-synging. This may take practice on a few circles to get comfortable.
Lay your petals together to start forming your flower. Stitch beads, sequins or buttons to the center to hold all your petals in place. Apply everywhere! They can be stitched in place or glued, depending on your application. (Keep in mind that hot glue will also melt the synthetic fabric.)
Make a little or a lot!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lace Doily Reversable Tote - The Elinor Tote

Being a fan of all things floral and lace, I set out to make a new feminine tote. Since sewing time is guaranteed once a week during my sewing class, I took advantage and completed my bag.A sneek peek inside at the lining...
and it is fully reversible as well. It's constructed from white canvas, a vintage beige doily and a floral pillowcase.

During class, I did not have my camera with me, so there's no tutorial here. But I did find an excellent tutorial for you here, that is very nearly the exact tote that I made.

Since I know that there are more to come, I've named this one the Elinor Tote. I figured that if Jane Austen, or any of her characters, carried a tote, it might just look like this one.
This new tote is the perfect bag for carrying around my Mother's Day gifts - a stunning copy of Pride and Prejudice (available here) and this card from my daughter (transcribed by my Dear H).

Sniff sniff. I hope that you had a lovely Mother's Day too.

(I linked to Tea Rose Home. Please check out their other great posts!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Yard Sale Crafting Goodies

I did not intend to find a yard sale, it was only two houses away. Tell me who has the will power to pass up a yard sale only two houses away?? Not I.

Even though I can usually assess a yard sale in the first 30 seconds, I've also learned it might be worth a few more moments of browsing... after all, my daughter was only playing with the internal car lights, not honking the horn today.

Riding out the overpriced holiday decor paid off. I picked up a smallish box of ric rac, hem and bias tapes... at .05 cents each I didn't put the box back down. (So there were 26 packages, I realize that I have a problem.) The lady running the sale glared at me, "It's not .05 cents for the WHOLE BOX!"

I smiled in return, "Oh, I know (since they were all individually marked .05 cents) but I like to sew."

She relaxed, "Well, then, you might like the craft stuff around the corner."


Loads of pipe cleaners, wooden beads, craft sticks, wooden clothes pins with instructions for doll making, pieces of fabric with samples and sizes measured out... were all marked at near giveaway prices. The woman obviously valued holiday decor, but not crafting goods. I also scored manila envelopes, cards, patches, yarn, elastic and stationary. Filling up a whole box, I happily paid $7.50 for a years worth of crafting supplies. I thanked her for myself and my toddler.

I only stopped there after cruising by "free estate sale leftovers" sign a couple of blocks away. Another major score with...
organizational freebies! I never have enough of these. Plus I nabbed a free Fiskars scissors sharpener.

I'm juuust figuring this out... if I locate the organizational supplies first, the craft supplies find me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Personalized Washer Necklace

Last week, I made this washer necklace for a friend, for Mother's Day.
After a quick trip to the hardward store, where I found multiple sizes of washers, I picked up the necklace clasps and rat tail satin cord at my local craft store. I already owned the metal letter stamps and a hammer.

Then, I set to work on the concrete. Eleven washers later, I was happy with how it turned out. (Never attempt making these necklaces with a curious toddler at your side!)

There are about 10 more necklaces that I want to make, but I'm not sure the city of Seattle has enough washers for all of my mistakes! But, I think they're just too cute not to try, try again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Footstool Re-do

It's only been 2 years in the making, but I finally recovered this footstool. It was nearly purchased at a yard sale, until the woman just gave it to me. Love it! The tapestry fabric never really fit our decor...
and I guess this cowhide underneath the tapestry didn't fit her decor. It wasn't going to work for me either, but I did find some apple green fabric, on sale, that suits our living room perfectly. Staple gun + new fabric = Happiness. Even Dear H gave it a thumbs up!
Also, I recently thrifted these books because, well, I'm pretty sure that I've needed them many times and just didn't know it. Plus, they'll come in handy for the sewing class that I started tonight. They're both very thick, but at $2 a piece I couldn't pass them up. Now if I could only learn everything in the books just by owning them...
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