Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Year in Review

Collage 4
Originally uploaded by katieskrafts
I started this blog last New Year's Eve in the hopes that it would encourage me to sew more and to give me a place to document the items that I created. I have done all of that and I have really enjoyed it! Here are some of my favorite creations over the past year. I hope to continue sewing and blogging and to branch out even more over 2009. Thank you to everyone who has commented and lurked on my blog for the past year. Please keep coming back and leaving me notes! I love each and every one!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Wrap-Up

All the gifts have been given and all of the recipients of my handmade presents really seemed to love them -- including Boogie -- here he is in his new coat!

Below are a few of the gifts that I made for Christmas presents that I hadn't shown yet. The pincushion was part of a gift for my mother and the gift set was a present for my aunt -- I had a lot of fun making everything and it really put me into the Christmas spirit!

As for gifts that I received, I was really lucky this year. My parents bought me a fancy Rowenta iron -- something I would never have bought for myself! I can't wait to use it for pressing :-) I also got the Sophia pattern I have wanted - I can't wait to get started on this one too!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas to Me!

I love to treat myself to presents, and this Christmas was no different. However, I am trying to watch how I spend my money, so I gave myself a gift that didn't cost a thing! The storms in the Northeast made it possible for me to just hang out at my house this weekend and tonight, I spent some time making myself a present in the sewing room (made all from stash items!). It's a pretty cute little set, I think -- it just needs a snap on the card case. You can see a few more pictures on my flickr page.

I love those YKK zippers, they are easier to install than the one's I get at Joann's. Since I'm going to New York City in February (and I'm planning on hitting some of these stores), I'm going to stock up on them!

On Baking

I was a domestic goddess today (although I didn't clean -- by domestic, I mean, I sewed and baked). I have really enjoyed being "snowed in" this weekend and today I took advantage of the stormy weather to do some Christmas baking. I made some peanut butter blossoms, pumpkin chocolate chip breads and a batch of brownies (with peanut butter chips) are in the oven as I type this. My house smells fantastic and I had enough will power to only test out 2 cookies :-) And, my poor, old oven really stood up to the task!

I'm in pretty good shape for Christmas. I need to purchase a few pairs of kids pajama's and that is it. I need to insert snaps on my niece's dress as well as on another gift I have made. Most gifts are already wrapped as well. I think I will be done before Christmas Eve, which would be a first! I need to make a beer bread and dip for work, but that is simple and I can whip that together Tuesday morning. Then I need to make spinach and artichoke dip for Christmas Eve, and I have already purchased all that I need for that. I should be able to get it all done -- what did you get done this weekend?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tools of the Trade

Aaaahhh - this is me breathing a sigh of relief that the semester is over and I have done well. I was actually excused from my afternoon final because my grade was so good! That gave me a little bit of time to work on a Christmas present for someone :-) I love unexpected weekday sewing time!!

When I was putting my project away, I saw on the edge of my ironing board that I left out the tools that I use the most. These are the items that are the MVP's of my sewing - my fabric scissors, my thread cutting scissors, ergonomic seam ripper (my favorite!), pins and magnetic pin cushion, 2 sided mark be gone and disappearing ink pen and a clear ruler. Not pictured but it deserves an honorable mention is my rotary cutter and mat - very important to the sewing production! What are your favorite sewing tools?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hello There

I was beginning to think I was losing my motivation, but I just cranked out a little cozy for my bank. I rolled over $80 in coins last night, which made me decide that I needed to dress my bank up to match my room :-)
I also churned out this table runner today. It's too wide, but I just folded it over and put it on the table. I keep telling myself - it doesn't have to be perfect.

I find that I really enjoy quick and simple projects. I would love to be a garment sewer, but I need to remind myself that I would quickly lose patience with something complicated so it's best to start simple. Since New Year's is coming up, I plan on adding some *simple* garments to my New Year's Sewing Resolutions. These resolutions deserve their own post though, so that will be coming up soon. I also plan to post a review of my 2008 sewing, since my goal when I started this blog last New Year's was to sew more. I have definitely achieved that goal and I want to keep it up and expand upon it in the New Year. Note to self - fix the serger!!!!! Hope everyone's Christmas sewing and shopping is going well!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've Been Around

Hello. I know I haven't posted in a bit, but I have been sewing - I made a drawstring bag for my father - I'm going to put golf tees in it - a dog coat for my brother's dog (no picture yet, I can't get a good photo of it - look for one after Christmas) - and a library bag for my grandmother. I also bought some great fabrics for some runners and pillows. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Sewing - For my Nephew

I know I said that I'm going to make some Christmas gifts this year, so the next one I plan to work on is for my nephew - here he is:

And here is what I'm going to make him - I just need to measure him and buy some fleece - I'm thinking Patriots themed fleece - this looks pretty simple and it should work up quick, I'll post pictures when I'm done - hmm I might make the capelet for myself (not in Patriots fleece though!)!!

In other news, my serger is still acting up. I have threaded and rethreaded a thousand times. Luckily there is a sewing center near me, I'm going to bring it down there and see if they can show me what I'm doing wrong. I hit the jackpot with vintage notions at a church fair yesterday, I need to go through them and see what I ended up with. I also got a great vintage sewing box, I'll post some pictures once I get it cleaned up!

Planning Winter Sewing

{Image from}

One of the projects that I plan on working on over the winter-time (after Christmas sewing is done) are some pillows and a table runner for my coffee table. I saw this tutorial today that I think I'm going to follow for the runner - it's quilted, so I can work on a quilt without it being a huge project. I'm also going to be hunting around online for a log-cabin pillow tutorial. I do love to patchwork!

Christmas Sewing - Labeled

I decided that this year I was going to start my Christmas shopping early and I'm even making a few gifts. I made this dress for my goddaughter, who loves Dora the Explorer.

I planned to serge the side seams, but my serger was acting up (my lower looper thread keeps getting cut - I tried all afternoon to fix it, but no luck). I had to give that idea up if I wanted to finish the dress today, so I ran to Joann's and got some bias binding. I like how it came out and I may hem it with the binding as well. My mother had suggested snaps, but I was planning on putting on buttons. However, since I have already sworn at this dress more than I should, I may take the easy way out and put snaps in.

I even got to use my labels - my mom got these for me ages ago, but I kept forgetting to use them. All that remains are snaps and a hem - one gift complete! I just pray it fits!!!

While I was at Joann's I picked up 2 new patterns and this new magazine, which had a bunch of great projects in it, including a full-size pattern for a skirt. I'm off to Barnes and Noble, I want to see if they have Alicia Paulson's new book in stock - have a great week!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Coming Up

I bought some cheap knit at Joann's to try this pattern out. I really want to sew clothing, so I better get practicing! I'm making the main photo, and I found a brown knit to try it in. I'm skipping the inset, I figure I can just wear a tank top with it. I like the other tops in this pattern, so I'm hoping it comes out good :-)

I wanted to share a tutorial I found for making key fobs. I purchased a tute off of etsy ages ago for this, but I found this one more recently and it's just as good. I bought the necessary hardware from jcaroline - I have ordered from them before and they are great, good selection and quick shipping. I'm actually waiting for some great ribbons to come in from them. I'll show them once they arrive.


I mentioned yesterday that I wanted to make a card case to put all of my gift cards in. I have a bad habit of leaving them home, so I whipped this up to carry them along with me. This pattern is great, although I think next time I will enlarge the seam allowances a bit, the area where I turned the case right side out is a little wonky and I think that will help. I purchased the pattern here, I have bought a few patterns from keykalou now and she sends them out super fast. This will be the last item in this fabric - I'm ready to move on!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Finally - Sewing Time

Hello there!
I have been finding some time to craft over the last 2 weekends. Last weekend I made a great wristlet, except that the zipper was too short. I redid it this weekend and it came out great! I also made a matching key fob to go with it. The pattern is from Oh, Fransson, and I think this is the best wristlet I have made so far. During the development of her pattern, Elizabeth made wristlets in different styles (check them out, as well as her other amazing projects, on her blog) including one in silk dupioni, which I would like to try. The pattern is really well written with lots of photos, options to customize your wristlet,and the best way to install a zipper I have found so far. The fabric is Amy Butler and I loooove it. I might have to make a tote out of it, if I have enough left.

I also made this little fabric box from a tutorial found on the Pink Penguin. It's a little bit wonky, but still cute. It matches my quilt :-)

Next up, I want to make a business card case to match my wristlet, then I'm going to move on to a knit top. I also treated myself to some new patterns, I hope to make these up soon as well. Enjoy your weekend!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Birthday Weekend

Hello all!

Well, as this post title suggest, this weekend is my birthday weekend (actual day - Monday). My family is having a party for me tonight, which I'm really looking forward to, it's going to be so much fun! Tomorrow, I have nothing planned - and I'm keeping it that way! I want to sleep in and then I'm going to work on some projects that I have been wanting to make for a while. Like this wristlet, this key fob, along with working on some of the many tutorials I have bookmarked and also starting some work on the billion patterns I have lined up - at least cutting some out. That's my gift to myself, some quality time in the sewing room :-)

I hope to have some finished products to show off on Monday - enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finished Finished Finished!

I'm so excited to have completed this quilt! I love it - I think it came out great :-) I'm not showing you guys my corners, so don't even ask!!! This was a lot of fun to put together, even though it took sooooo long! I had originally planned to make my own binding, but in the end, I machine-attached purchased binding. I accidentally bought 2 packages of smaller sized binding, so the long edges have wide bindings, the shorter edges have thinner binding. Like Tim Gunn says, "make it work," and I did! I really, really love it, although I'm in no hurry to make another one!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Office

My new job has me thinking about some fun new office supplies. Here are a few tutorials that I've found that I'm hoping to try out sometime soon.

Decorate office supplies with fabric from How About Orange

DIY pencil cup also at How About Orange

Thumbtacks at How About Orange (can you tell I love her blog??)

Mouse Pad at Armelle Blog

Another mouse pad at twelve22

Next Up

Here are the patterns I bought this weekend. I got a couple of knit tops, along with some chocolate brown and teal blue cotton knit fabric to make these up. I hope to make the skirt soon too, the gray would look great with some tall boots. What's next on your sewing agenda?

Looming Deadline

It's 6:15 pm........I have 2 pairs of pants to hem (mark, pin and then hem) and my quilt is not bound!

I have some new patterns and fabric to show you, as well as a new sewing book. Hopefully I will show you this week! I hope the hemming goes quick - maybe I can at least pin the binding....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Missing in Action

Hello friends,

I didn't mean to disappear for 10 days, but I have. So much going on (all good!) and not much time has meant very little sewing production. I did manage to sandwich my quilt and I began quilting it. I have to admit that binding this quilt is scaring me a bit, but I really want it to be done. Hopefully by the end of this long weekend, I will have a finished quilt. I am warning you professionals out there, I am NOT hand stitching the binding. If I do that, this quilt will be finished sometime in 2020!

I have so much that I want to work on, but I feel like I cannot move on while the quilt is unfinished. I believe that Simplicity patterns are on sale this weekend, so I'd like to pick up a few knit top patterns. I also would like to make a simple black a-line skirt. I got a promotion at work (!) and now I need a whole new wardrobe (I really do, I was wearing a uniform before and outside of work I am a jeans/t-shirt girl). I will probably purchase a lot, but I do want to work on a few simple pieces to wear as well. I not only want to update my work wardrobe, but also my off-duty outfits as well. I know I've mentioned that I'm turning 30 (really, really soon!) so I would like to start dressing in a nicer, casual way - more like a 30 year old woman and less like a 17 year old! I'm thinking nice boots, knit tops, good fitting jeans, a pretty scarf and some simple jewelry. I'll be a work in progress, but look for some posts (and pictures, I promise) of my upgrades. And please hold me accountable, I need to finish this quilt!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

So Close

The quilt top is complete! I was in New Hampshire last weekend, so no sewing was done, but I was able to complete the last 3 rows during little bits of time during the week. I also trimmed the batting to fit, so I just need to get the backing and start quilting - which I plan to do on Saturday. I looked up walking feet online and they are pretty pricey - especially for just one quilt. So, I'm going to brave this quilt top without one. I have enjoyed putting this together, but I don't foresee much more quilting in my future. I have a million different projects that I want to start next!
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Crafting Japanese

I received my very first issue of Cotton Time in the mail yesterday and I can easily see why people love it! I have seen Japanese crafts and inspiration all over the web, so I finally ordered my own copy. It didn't disappoint - check out some of these pics:

I probably will not be spending the money on this all of the time, but it's a great treat full of inspiration. I'm going to work on my quilt top today - hopefully get it done - then I'll start making the binding. It's coming together!! Enjoy your Saturday :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


There was finally some time to get started on my quilt! It's coming along quickly - I sewed 6 rows so far, I think 4-5 more will be plenty for the size I want. Maybe 6 to be safe. I had a thought that maybe I would back it in a light blue gingham. I'll have to dig out a Joann's coupon and go get some, this is working up pretty quick!

I haven't had much time to work on sewing, but I have been thinking about it a lot! I want to make something with my serger next, perhaps a dress for my birthday??? It's not until the end of next month, so that is a possibility. We'll see though, I don't have much time right now, but I can dream right! I'm thinking one of these patterns:

Up next, I tried hemming a pair of pants with stitch witchery and they just aren't having it! So, I'm off to sit on the couch with my needle and thread :-) Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Step by Step

Confession - I haven't started my quilt. I cut out the squares (I hope I have enough). I think about it daily. I have not purchased the sheet to back it. I have not made the bias binding (how long?). I'm still not sure I cut enough squares. But, I can't wait to have a finished quilt. So, my goal for this week (in between 2 classes, my full time job and classes for the promotional exam at the job) is to start piecing (maybe?). My goal for yesterday was to buy the sheet and figure out if I have enough squares. That didn't happen though, so it will be added to this weeks goal - no worries! Little steps will result in a finished quilt a lot quicker than just fantasizing about it!
PS - Check out the bag my mom made - isn't the fabric great?! Nice job, Mom!!

Sunday Morning

Here is the finished gift I made for my friend's daughter. I think it came out pretty cute. I need some work on my embroidery skills, but I really do enjoy the craft. It's very relaxing to do on the couch while watching the Home and Garden channel :-)

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It' s Sunday morning right now, my absolute favorite time of the week. I went out and got some magazines and a bagel. I came home and took a clean-up shower and I'm ready to relax! It's beautiful outside, I can see the sun shining through the trees from my kitchen window as I write this. Sunday morning in the fall - nothing better than this. Enjoy your Sunday :-)