Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Carolina Breeze Bag

Last night was a slow night at work, and since my first bag-making experience was a good one...I decided to tackle something I never thought I would...making a PATTERN!! I looked a little nuts with all of that tape and paper laying everywhere, folding, creasing, and trying to pretend it was fabric...but it worked!

I had bought some fabric that I was totally in love with, as well as some burlap that I wanted to turn into a "beachy" bag. I just knew I had to make this bag with those! The pattern is in shambles in my sewing room, but I'm hoping to revive it so I can make some more! I love how it turned out!

Thanks to my wonderful husband for pointed out once I was "done" that it needed something else. He suggested a Monogram (such a good southern man) but you can't really monogram burlap, so I decided it would get a bow. After the bow went on I realized that no good southern bag is without either a bow or a monogram! I should have thought of that...but I'm glad he did!

It reminds me of strolling along the coast...hence the name Carolina Breeze

Fully lined with a pocket

I'm thinking of listing a couple on Etsy to see what kind of response it gets! Let me know if you want one!!!! It would be fabulous in any color or pattern on top!!

Monogram Wreath Tutorial

I made these wreaths for my brother's wedding last weekend. They were for the rehearsal dinner to decorate the doors, but the bride liked them so much she wanted them on the front doors of the church!!

They would be perfect for weddings, showers, even birthday parties to add some festive flair to doorways, gates, fences, or anywhere else you can hang something!!

I was also excited that they were featured on the "Color My Summer" page at Kojo Designs!!

I hope you enjoy making them as much as I did!

Let's get started!

Materials for 1 wreath:

Floral or styrofoam wreath
2 packs of dinner sized party napkins, 1 pack of each color
Straight pins
hot glue gun
2 pieces scrapbook paper in contrasting or coordinating pattern
Modge Podge or rubber cement
3-D letters made of cardboard or chipboard

Start by cutting circles out of your napkins. You can trace something, a bowl or peanut butter lid, but they don't have to be perfect. Make sure you cut circles from both colors.

Prepare your wreath by laying a single layer of napkin circles on top of, and inside the wreath, covering all white areas. This will be a lifesaver later when you're trying to fill in holes with petals!

Once you get it covered, pin those circles in place, and set wreath aside.

Using rubber cement or Modge Podge, attach your scrapbook paper to your letters. Make sure if it has a definite pattern that it's straight.

Once the adhesive is dry, use scissors, a knife, or exacto-knife to trim the paper from the letters. It should look like the picture below.

Now to make the petals. Take one of your circles and fold it in half. Then fold it in half again. It should look like this:

Grasp the inner fold, and pull it outwards, then crease the sides to hold the shape. It should look like this:

Do the same to a circle of the second color. You will then fit them together. Wedge the creases between each other to create overlapping color.

Place a straight pin through the bottom of the petals, making sure you go through both colors.

Pin it to your wreath and fluff it up a bit. Continue pinning petals until you cover your wreath.

Almost done!

Take your letter and place it in the center of the wreath. You may need to trim away some of the foam for it to fit. This will be hidden by petals so cut what you need! Using hot glue, secure the letter inside the wreath.

To finish, attach a piece of ribbon with pins and hot glue so you can hang your wreaths. Make sure you hold them up to check for "holes" where you need more petals. Fill in the gaps and they're ready to adorn your doors!

Happy Crafting!!

If you make these I would love to see pictures in the Flickr Group

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I love this day for spending time with friends and family and remembering the sacrifices of so many for our freedom! Today is also my wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband of 3 years!! Unfortunately I am not totally enjoying either of these occasions, because I am at work. That's what I get for working at the hospital...it never closes!

This weekend I had a couple of opportunities for craftiness and wanted to share them with you! I won a pattern in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day event and knew I wanted to make something festive for Gray to wear. The pattern is called the Open Back Baby Dress by the Tye Dye Diva. You can purchase the pattern HERE. It's reversible. I made it all red white and blue with stars one one side and polka dots on the other! How cute is this???

My second crafting effort was making my first bag. When I go out shopping with Gray I always shove things in my pockets because carrying her and  purse can get pretty bulky. I decided to make a small and lightweight purse to carry just the essentials (keys, wallet, phone, lipgloss) in when we run out and I don't wanna carry a large purse or the diaper bag. It's fully lined with two pockets to hold my stuff! I bought some material today to make myself another bag. I'm working on the pattern now. If the bag turns out I'll share the pattern with you!

Because Gerber is Gross... part 2

When we went to the beach two weeks ago, for convenience we took a few containers of Gerber baby food to give Gray along with her table food. Convenient...yes. Delicious...absolutely not! Don't get me wrong, Gerber is a wonderful company and have tons of great products for babies, many of which we use...but the baby food just doesn't do it for me. We were running a little low on Gray's homemade entrees, so I decided to whip up a new recipe for her.

A few years ago, Hubby and I had a great meal in Rock Hill, SC, of pork tenderloin with an cinnamon apple glaze. It was fabulous!! I haven't made Gray anything with pork yet, so I decided that this would be a good option to try for her! I just wish I had made two batches, because it was delicious! That kid eats better than we do!

Here's how to make it:

4 small porkchops (just make sure the bones are out before you put them in the chopper...duh!)
1 large apple, I used a gala apple
3 tbs of light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut your porkchops into small cubes. This will save you steps later and help them cook quicker. Dice your apple into small cubes. Place apples and pork into a casserole dish. Sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar over the top, and cover with foil.

Bake 30-40 minutes until pork is done and the juices are bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes, then place into a food chopper. Chop until it's the right consistency for your baby.You can add the pan juices if you need to. Place in ice cube trays and freeze! Voila!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guest Blogger

I am so excited to announce that I am the writer for the guest blog for "The Cloth Diaper Whisperer"! I love reading their blog. It is crammed with useful information and great stories. The name of my blog post is "It Started With One." Check it out HERE !!

My first cloth diaper for Gray!
       I love our stash! It's so bright and shiny!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Boobs are for Food

I realized I haven't written a post about breastfeeding, which is weird because it has been a HUGE part of my life for almost 10 months now! I was thinking about the things I love and hate about breastfeeding, and decided to share a top 10 list of the thngs that I love...and hate. We'll start with the negative:

Top 10 Reasons I Hate Breastfeeding

10) I haven't worn a cute top without a very thick bra in a LONG time
9) I don't love waking up to soaking wet sheets because Grayson slept a little 
    longer than usual
8) I would much rather be working than lock myself in my boss's office to pump
     twice a day. It's not a "break" no matter what others may think
7) I have to plan my outings around when Gray will eat, or when I need to pump
6) My cup size changes 7 or 8 times during the day....this makes bra fitting very
5) I cannot stand the question "How long are you going to nurse?" followed by "That
     long???" Yes...that long....
4) I'm not happy that I'm still losing weight because of all of the extra burned calories.
     I need some meat on my bones.
3) I absolutely cannot stand people telling me "You can just feed her in the
    bathroom." How about this....Why don't you go eat in the bathroom, and I'll stay
     right here. Thanks!
2) I hate pumping...with a passion.....

1) And finally...I HATE pumping!!! (I know...I already said that.) But it's a necessary
    evil. I will burn that pump when I'm done with it.

Now...for the things I LOVE about breastfeeding

10) It's FREE! Come on...I had to include that one.
9) It can be very convenient. No bottles to warm or formula to mix. It's ready to go!
8) You don't have to "plan". It's ready when baby is and you won't run out!
7) I know my baby girl is much healthier because of it! She got her first runny nose at 9 months...I don't think it's a coincidence!
6) It can be a nice excuse to have quiet time when you're feeding your baby
5) It's the perfect food for baby and nothing she doesn't need!
4) I love to look at her face while she's nursing and she looks at me like she's saying
    "Thanks Mommy"
3) There's a special bond with my baby girl that no one else can have
2)I know that she needs me! (I know she needs me anyways...but eating is a little
    more urgent!)

1) Just because! I just love feeding my daughter and sharing that bond with her!

I didn't have a lot of support when I decided to breastfeed Grayson, but after seeing how well she has done people have really started to be more open-minded! I had a lot of learning to do myself, and I really enjoy talking about it to others.

 It has become very important to me to share the benefits to mommy and baby and let people know how much I love it! I know it's not for everyone, but I wouldn't have it any other way for Gray and me!

Linked at the Breastfeeding Blog Hop. Check it out for more great Breastfeeding Topics

Friday, May 27, 2011

Tutorial- Polo Skirt

I know I said the next tutorial would be for the Monogram Wreaths...but the pictures got a little misplaced on my computer. So, until I can locate them, here's another skirt tutorial!

I made this skirt for the "Summer of No Pants" challenge over at Hideous, Dreadful, Stinky. It's one of four skirts I have made to keep me from wearing the same old jeans and t-shirts this summer!!

I call this the Polo Skirt, because I orginally wanted to wear a polo with it for a dressy outfit, but now I think it looks better with a tank top for a semi-dressy look!

Let's get started!

1 yard of fabric ( I used a heavier weight to make it dressier)
1 zipper 10"-14" depending on how long you would like it.
sewing supplies- scissors, thread, sewing machine, etc.

I used one of my favorite skirts as a guideline for the shape. make sure you cut at least 1" around the outside of your orginal skirt to have room for seam allowances and fit. You can always take it in if it's too big!

Cut one front piece, and one back piece. Then take your back piece, and split it in half longways.

You now have your three skirt pieces.

We'll tackle the zipper first since it can be the most intimidating! Lay your zipper right side down along the top edge of one of your back pieces. If you're using the left back piece, it should look like the picture below.

Using a zipper foot, sew along the lengh of the zipper attaching it to your skirt piece.

Unzip the zipper, flip it over and do the same on the other side. If this gets confusing, pin it where you think you'll sew it and flip it around to see what it will look like sewn. This will let you know if it's right, or if you need to make an adjustment! Sew the zipper to the other skirt piece.

Now, you need a split in the back of the skirt, or you'll never make it in and out of your car, or up a flight of stairs. Decide how high up you want the split to be. Make it at least 5 inches for ease, higher if you dare!! mark the top of the split with a pin.

Also mark the bottom of your zipper, where the pull will stop. You should have a few inches between the top of your split and the bottom of your zipper.

  Now to finish the split, turn in 1/4" and again 1/4" and sew the edge down. This will get rid of the raw edges and give you a nice clean split to your skirt.

See! Nice and pretty!

Now, starting at the top of the split, where you should have pinned, sew the skirt together until you reach the pin at the bottom of your zipper. make sure your zipper tapes are to the inside of the skirt (wrong sides of the fabric), otherwise they'll stick out the back!

Run a couple of stitches across the bottom of the zipper tape to make sure it stays in place, and your zipper pull stops where it should. You can trim any excess tape off the end.

Now...you have a functioning zipper!! You can topstitch around the zipper if you like. I find that it helps the zipper lay better and keeps the fabric away from the zipper opening.

Now, lay both of your skirt pieces right sides together and pin them together down the sides.
Stitch up the sides using a 1/4" seam and finish with a zig-zag stitch to keep the ends from fraying.

Now just hem the bottom and top by turning under 1/4" and again 1/4 inch to hide the raw edges, and you have a wonderful Polo Skirt!!

Looks Great and ready to wear!!

It was perfect for walking around the beach with my baby girl!!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial! If you make the Polo Skirt, I would love to see pictures!!

Happy Sewing!!!


Congratulations to Jennifer from Louisiana! She was the winner of the Teething Pearls from the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway! They are on their way to your house for you and your little one to enjoy! Thanks to everyone who entered!

Because of the great responses I got to the Giveaway post, I created a coupon for my Etsy Shop so you can purchase the Teething Pearls for yourself, your friends, and your family members! Enter "SewMamaSew" at checkout to receive 30% off your order of anything in the shop! There are great gifts for Mommy and Baby!

Stay tuned....I'm working on my next tutorial! I made some vibrant and fun wreaths for my brother's wedding last weekend, and I want to share how I made them with you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tutorial!! Stack My Ruffles Skirt

This is my favorite skirt that I made for the "Summer of No Pants" challenge by Hideous, Dreadful, Stinky. It's the most fun and funky of the 4 skirts I made and I can't wait to wear it out!!

Let's get started! You will need:
 1 yard of main skirt fabric, mine is red.
1yard of an accent fabric for the ruffles
1" elastic
Sewing supplies: machine, thread, etc.

First we need to get some measurements. All of these measurements will be for your main, or solid colored fabric. Measure around your waist first, and double it. This is the width of the skirt. This will give a nice gather to the skirt once the elastic is in.

The second measurement we need is the length of the skirt. I wanted mine to be short and flirty, so I measured mine at 15". Now if this is to scandalous to you, please add as much length as you like! Now...we're not done with this measurement. Decide how fat you want your wasteband to be. (this is the red colored portion on top of my skirt in the picture). You will need to add this length to the total length of your skirt. Confusing...I know.

This should help. I wanted my skirt length 15". I wanted an 8" red waistband at the top of my skirt. I cut the length of my skirt 23". I used the length of my fabric for the width, so I have a rectangle that is 55" x 23". This is the main skirt piece.

Now we need some ruffles. Cut along the length of your patterned fabric, 5" wide, to make strips for the ruffles. If you want more ruffles on your skirt than I have, you can make them thinner, you'll just have some more sewing to do. I made 6 strips in total. This will make 3 ruffles.

Now...Let's get sewing!!

I made my ruffles first, because it's a little tedious and I wanted to get it out of the way. Start by taking two of your strips and place them right sides together. Sew the strips together along the short side to make one very long strip. Do this with the other 4 strips. You will now have 3 very long pieces of fabric.

You can serge or hem the long end of one side of each ruffle. Since I am not blessed with a serger...I sat and folded my fabric under 1/4", then another 1/4", and sewed until each strip had a neat and pretty hem with no raw edges.

Now that you're pulling your hair out from those long stitches...let's do it again! Now, on the other side of the strip from where you just hemmed it, you need to run a long basting stitch. I set my stitch length to 5, and sewed all the way along the top at 1/4" inward. *Do Not Backstitch!!*

Once you have run your stitch, pull on the thread that came from the bobbin (the bottom thread) and gather your fabric. You will need to gather it to the same length as your main skirt fabric's width, so 55" for mine.

Once you're done you'll have three ruffles, hemmed and ready to go!!

Now, take the fabric for your main skirt piece. Hem one long side. Fold under 1/4", then again 1/4" to hide the raw edges and sew.

Now we attach the ruffles! I laid my first ruffle down and let the end of the ruffle overhang the bottom of the skirt fabric by 1/2". I wanted to hide the base fabric, but not lengthen my skirt by putting the ruffles on too low.

Pin the end of the ruffle to the side of the skirt on both sides. Then pin every few inches to hold the ruffle in place while you sew it on to your main fabric piece.

Here's a shot of where I placed my ruffle

Lay your second ruffle on top of the first one. Only overlap enough to cover the stitches on the bottom ruffle. Pin and sew on to the main fabric. Do this with the 3rd ruffle as well, making sure you cover the stitches on the second ruffle.

Now you should have several inches on top of your ruffles of skirt fabric. This is where we make the waistband. Fold the top of your skirt fabric over until it reaches the top row of stitches on your ruffles. Fold under 1/4" and pin in place. This will hide all stitching and give you a nice clean edge.

Pin all the way across and stitch the top of your fabric to the top of the ruffles. This gets a little thick, so keep your hand on your skirt to help feed it through your machine.

The next step is optional, but I think it gives the skirt a more finished look. I topstitch around the top of the wasteband before making the casing for my elastic.

Now we need to make the casing for the elastic. I like to make sure I've got plenty of room to thread my elastic, so I lay it on my fabric and mark where I need to stitch my casing. This is just for a guideline. Then  run a stitch across the wasteband to make the elastic casing.

Measure around your waist and cut your elastic to fit. You may want to add 1/2" for overlap to sew the elastic together. Place a safety pin in your elastic to help you guide it through the casing.

Start feeding your elastic through the casing, making sure not to twist it. Hold on to your other elastic end so you don't lose it!!

Once you've fed the elastic all the way through, make sure there are no twists, overlap the ends and stitch them together securly.

Now comes the fun part! Getting it all sewn up together!!

Flip your skirt inside out and line up the top and bottom of the skirt. Pin together.

Grab the bottom of the first ruffle and match it to the ruffle on the other side. Pin this together. Do the same for the other two ruffles. This will make sure they match up when you sew your skirt together.

Now pin together the main skirt fabric from the bottom, all the way to the bottom of the elastic. Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Once you've done this you'll need to hand-stitch the rest of the casing around the elastic closed.

Just a few stitches and you're done! Ready for twirling!! This would also make a darling skirt for a little girl! I may make one for Gray soon!!

Happy Sewing!!

If you make this project I would love to see pictures! You can e-mail them to me and I'll post them on the Blog for others to see your handy-work!!!

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