Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sweaterbag #3

October 29, 2009

Sweaterbag #3

The grooves going down today.

Luck at the thrift store.

A little bit more luck.

I am often inspired by fabric. It is almost as if the fabric is telling me what to make.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sewing Spaces or Where The Magic Happens

October 27, 2009

Sewing Spaces or Where The Magic Happens.

Hi friends,
I mentioned I was organizing my sewing spaces in early September.
It has been finished for a month now and I love it. It is my sewing cave at night.
It took me a long time to get it organized. Also I needed to be space conscientious. The area measures 9ft x 11ft. It is quite small.
I reinvented my sewing space for under $100.

Anyway here is the Mess of Great Proportion before.

The beautiful, calm, organized, awesome, space ever after. Until it gets really messy again

Metal shelf is from Target $40.
Green metal cabinet; thrift ed years ago.
Pink wall table; Great Grandma Johnsen.

I store a bunch of things in plastic containers so I can see fabric colors, quilts and blankets, ect.
I really, really love to use vintage suitcases for storage and suitcases are less expensive than plastic. Silly! I paid between $3-5 for each suitcase for a total of $18.
There is an abundance of vintage suitcase in Utah, so I limit myself to collecting brown, white, and blue. The inside must be in good condition.

Chicken wire stapled into the wall holds my notions and fun things I like.
The table was thrifted years ago.
Awesomely the wood paneling was this pink color when we bought our home.

Target shelf $40.

The wood shelf is a built in. Another house surprise!

A second built in. The two green chairs were salvaged off the curbside. The only thing I did to the chairs was clean them and put a kitty sticker on them to spruce 'em up a bit.

I sew on my kitchen table. I love the natural light in my kitchen. I have a east facing window and a south one. I don't machine sew in the evening. In the evening I do handwork and misc. projects in my sewing cave. Oliver and Freya are welcome to play with me in my sew cave. I like it best when it is just me, the silence and some really good tunes.

My kitchen doubles as my computer room.
Thanks for letting me share my sewing spaces with you.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Good Day

October 26, 2009

A Good Day

Happy Halloween, nearly.

I'm going to dress up as a English Postal Worker. Chris has a few authentic items from Engalnd.
Oliver is a vampire and Freya is a cat.

Freya wore this around the house tonight. It is a piece of the sweater left over from the Trick-or Treat bag I made her.
It has my mind brewing a design in my head!

I spent a quiet moment looking out my kitchen window this evening.

Sewing space post tomorrow. It is long overdue.

P.S. The spacing on my post is accidental. Chris and I can't figure it out.
I do pause quite a bit mid-thought but not that much.
It doesn't bother me too much. Not enough to fix it anyway. I just wanted everone to know that.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Picture

October 26, 2009

Sunday Picture

Before I changed my career to become a stay home mom , I was an antique dealer (Actually a vintage dealer and sometimes junk). During those years I came across amazing things. I met a rich assortment of weird, wonderful people and I heard stories, a whole lot of stories. Every piece of furniture, sewing collection, platter, linen has a story that goes with it. (I love old , used ,beautiful ,worn things for very little money.

This picture is one of those old things

This painting has no story. No name. No date.

It happily hangs in the corner of Oliver's room.

I'm looking forward to Monday. I love the start of a brand new week.

Giveaway Winners

October 25,2009

Happy winning!
One 'boo' will be traveling to Kansas, Yeah Meryl!
The other 'boo' will be traveling to New Hampshire, Yeah Sarah (Geek+Nerd)
Please e-mail me your address at . I'll send them out directly.

Thanks everyone who commented. I wish I had time to make you all a 'boo' bunting.

Please look for 'joy' bunting in my Etsy store, which is coming very soon.

P.S. I really wish the days would slow down. I love autumn.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Thank You Giveaway

October 23, 2009

A Thank You Giveaway

Thank you friends.

I appreciate your kind comments, encouragement, and support.

I made two Halloween buntings to giveaway.

In the center of the bunting I embroidered 'BOO'.

They are 80" long

Boo inside.

Boo playing in the leaves.

Boo hanging on the line

To enter simply leave a comment on this post.

I'll close comments and announce the winners Sunday at 1:00 pm MT.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Proper Sweater Bag Tutorial and A-Give-Away

October 22, 2009

A proper sweater bag tutorial.


* A sweater
* 3/4 yard liner fabric
* Embroidery floss
*Quilting thread
* 6 cool buttons (do not use uncool buttons).
* 7 inches of thin ribbon, 1/2 inch wide or less
* Needles; including a long, thin upholstery needle
*Embellishments: buttons, lace, ribbon, doilies and such

Before you start, wash and dry sweater.

1. Cut off sleeves along seam line. Save.
(Save all bits of sweater for future projects).
2. With the front and the back of the sweater together cut two square or rectangle pieces any size.
3. Sew a stay stitch across the bottom and top of sweater.
This will prevent the sweater from stretching out of shape

NOTE: Use the finished bottom of sweater for the top/opening of bag.
This will make finishing the top of the bag easier and neat looking.

4. Add embellishments to sweater now.

My sweater was actually a cardigan with lovely pearl buttons.
I hand sewed the button plackets together then hand sewed pink velvet ribbon over my stitches. I sewed the doily on by hand using small tacking stitches around the outside and inside of doily. (Embellishing steps are great to work on while watching a movie or sitting outside).

5. With right sides facing sew the sweater bottoms together.
*Remember* The original finished bottom of sweater is the top of bag.

TIP: When sewing sweater fabric use a 1/2" seam allowance.
Use a 1/4" seam allowance for liner fabric.

6. Lay the sweater piece unfolded and length wise on top of liner fabric.
Cut the liner the same size as sweater with an extra 1 1/2" at the top and bottom of liner fabric. (This extra fabric will be folded back and sewn to the top of the sweater to finish it ).

Most likely the sweater piece is not exactly rectangle.
Cut the liner (plus 1 1/2" each top side) to the size sweater should be.

7. If you want a pocket inside the bag, make and sew it to the liner now.
I used my phone for a template.
(Since there are 4,000 ways to make a pocket, choose the simplest, best looking, way for you).

8. Fold sweater in half right sides facing.
Press, pin and sew fabric up both side.
Repeat for liner liner fabric.
*Use a 1/2" SA for sweater fabric. 1/4" SA for liner fabric.
9. Turn sweater bag right side out. Push a finger into each corner to make it rounded at points.

10. With the liner still right side out tuck the liner inside the bag. (Wrong sides of sweater and and liner will be together).
Make sure the sweater and liner seams match up and pin.
This will prevent shifting while the top of the bag is sewn.

11. Fold the top of the liner over, wrong sides together, until top of folded liner and sweater are about even.

12. Press a seam into the liner fabric and pin.

13. Using six strands of embroidery floss sew sweater and liner together with a running stitch. Stitch about 1/4" from the top of bag.
This is where I use an upholstery needle.

* If you want the top of your bag a bit gathered pull the running stitches a little tight while you sew.

14. Cut a sleeve up the seam and press.
Cut the sleeve into a rectangle as long and wide as you want your shoulder strap.

15. Fold strap in half lengthwise.
Pin and sew up side with wrong sides together.
Using your fingers, turn strap right side out.

16. Pin the strap ends to the side seams of the bag.

17. Use quilting thread and a straight stitch to attach the strap to the bag.
Turn under the raw edges of the strap as you stitch for a nice finished edge.

18.Reinforce the strap by straight stitching a second row of stitches near the top of the bag.

19. Sew on buttons between the two rows of stitches.
Your bag can now withstand little hands tugging and pulling at it.
Repeat steps 17-19 on the other side of bag.

20. Pick two really cool buttons and a small length of lovely ribbon for the latch.
21. On the front of bag, sew a button that is 1 1/2" and centered from the top of bag.

22. Cut a small length of ribbon to size by looping it over the button and pinning it to back of the bag in the same place as the button on the front of bag.

23. At the cross of the looped ribbon sew a few small back stitches to secure it.
Sew the ribbon to the back of the bag at the cross.
Last, sew the button to the bag at the cross of the ribbon.
Yahoo! Finished!
It was difficult to write and demonstrate making this bag.
I decided the easiest and clearest way for me to teach this sweater bag was to storyboard it.

My sweater bag tutorial in storybook style.
This bag was fast and easy to make.
If you don't want to make a sweater bag but still want to own one, contact me at my e-mail address:

Have a great weekend.
Look for my give-a-way post later this evening.
It's an awesome give-a-way.

Thank You!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finished Sweater Handbag.

October 20, 2009

My sweater handbag is finished. I'm very happy with how it turned out.

I didn't mention that last Wednesday when we made Caroline's bag I made it up as I went along.
This yellow sweater bag was my second attempt and now I want to make 100 of them. There are so many different ways you can embellish and alter this bag.

The instructions to make this sweater handbag are coming soon.
If you have never written instructions on how to do something it is quite a challenge. Clear and concise are not strong points for me. I have a very scattery brain a lot of the time.

I hope you all have a super duper autumn day.
P.S Chris says I can't listen to the Sweeney Todd sountrack when he is home. Eight nights consecutively is enough.