Thursday, January 28, 2010

ModKid Emma and... Another Buttercup Bag!!!

Pink Day is coming up at my big girl's preschool, so I wanted to make something cute for her to wear (since I totally spaced out on Red Day. Bad Mama.) I have a backlog of ModKid patterns that I want to make, and I LOVE the Julia skirt I made for her a while back, so I decided to give Emma a try.

I used quilter's cotton for all the pieces. It's cute, but would definitely be cuter with something floofier. The pattern suggests making only 6 or 7 petals if you're using cotton for the whole thing. I made 6 petals for this one. If you don't have a serger, I think this would be a fairly frustrating project-- Hemming all those petals would not be my idea of a good time. But a rolled hem on a serger is a cute and quick finish for the petals. I made this from stash fabrics and threads so I was limited on serger thread colors. I used white on the pink petals and pale pink on the butterfly petals. It would be really neat with contrasting colors on the edges! I think I'm going to make a shirt to go with this skirt by appliqueing a butterfly onto a store bought t-shirt.

So... I might be a little bit addicted to these Buttercup Bags! They are just so fast and easy and endlessly customizable and use so little fabric. A perfect instant satisfaction project. Here's my latest. I think I'm going to add a nice wooden button to it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another Buttercup Bag and I won!

I love the blog over at Sew, Mama, Sew. They have awesome tutorials, pattern reviews, and giveaways- I almost always enter the giveaways and today I won a yard of free fabric!!! Yay!

Tonight I sneaked away from the cranky teething two year old and made another Buttercup Bag. This one is also a refashion! I picked up two placemats at Goodwill (a fantastic fabric resource). I also got an awesome vintage sheet with orange flowers, two yards of neutral batik, and two incredibly soft flannel pillowcases with the cutest blue flowers- The pillowcases will soon become skirts for the girls!

But I digress- back to the bag. The placemats were woven like Kaffe Fassett shot cotton (another fave of mine!), the warp was one color and the weft another. In this case the colors were dark turquoise and wheat. When I first assembled the bag I topstitched the band with a contrasting thread. I decided I didn't like it after I'd already sewn the two sides together. So rather than take it all apart, I decided to hide it with my first attempt at decorative trim! I think it looks really cute- Far from perfect, but I don't know why I shied away from trims for so long!

This blog is called Sleepytime Sewing, so you'll have to excuse the fact that all of my pictures are wonky and dark. We get so little sunlight here anyway, that even if I could sew before 10pm, the pictures wouldn't be much better!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love the crafting community!

First of all, I have to send out MAJOR kudos to the folks at Craft Hope. As of this morning, the Craft Hope for Haiti shop has raised... are you ready for this? More than $20,000. All through donations. In less than 4 days. That is incredible. More than 1300 items have been donated, ranging from soap to clothing to bags to quilts to jewelry and everything in between. Absolutely incredible. There's still lots to choose from, check it out by clicking the Craft Hope button over there ------->

I love how the crafting community feels so small. Looking through the Craft Hope donations I saw so many crafters I recognized because I follow their blog or have admired their work somewhere. And today, while feeling all warm and fuzzy about this small world, a prize I won in a giveaway arrived! Confessions of a Sewing Dork offered up this adorable dress a couple of weeks ago- It's so cute and would fit both of my girls, so I entered and I won! It arrived today and looks incredibly cute on my big girl. The little girl hasn't tried it yet but I know it will be lovely on her, too!

I also wanted to share something I made for ME this week. It's the Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic in a linen blend. I made the shirt version and I LOVE it! I am debating whether it needs some trim or something to jazz it up, but I think I need something simple like this in my wardrobe- I can jazz it up with jewelry and a fun skirt! It has two pleats in the front and one in back and is so comfy! It's obviously made to wear a camisole or tank underneath- Which is great for me because I always layer my shirts and I have TONS of tanks in every color imaginable.

I am planning to make another one with my hoarded stash of Amy Butler's pink coriander. It looks better on a person than it does on a hanger, but I hate having my picture taken. So for now, this will have to do!

My big girl turns 5 this Saturday, so we are off to order a birthday cake! Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

Last night I completed a bag to donate to the Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy shop. They are getting so many wonderful submissions, and lots of great crafters are working hard behind the scenes to keep up with listing everything. As of this posting they have already had 406 sales and there are currently 104 items for sale and they have raised over $7,000 for Doctors without Borders. In TWO DAYS!!!

Here's my little contribution- A Buttercup Bag, using the awesome free pattern from Made by Rae. She wrote back so quickly when I wrote to ask permission to use the pattern for this donation! Edited: It's up!!! (edited again) and it's sold!!!

Lots of great raffles and other giving opportunities are still going on!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Helping Haiti

Like so many people around the world, I have looked at pictures, watched videos, and read reports coming out of Haiti over the last couple of days. The feeling of helplessness is unbearable and I have donated what money I can (Here's a reputable list of charities you can donate to- If you know of others, please link to them in the comments.)

But as a crafter, the urge to DO something is so strong. I can't go to Haiti myself, so I've been searching for ways I can do something more concrete than sending off a few dollars. Here are a few things I've found, and I thought I'd share them in case you'd like to do something too. Granted, most of the funds raised through these efforts will be going to the same places as your $5 or $10 dollar text message donations, but these support the crafting community at the same time. I will add more options as I find them.

Donate something hand made to the Craft Hope Etsy shop. "The Craft Hope Etsy shop will allow crafters to donate products and allow folks to purchase them. With 100% of the proceeds going to charity." Not a crafter yourself? Check out the shop and buy something.

Shop at Indie Fixx's Haiti Relief Fundraiser Auction.

If you happen to be in the NYC area and can be in Brooklyn on Monday, here's an event you could help out with. "Volunteers will learn to sew to create wrap skirts for women and children who have been devastated by the earthquake... Volunteers who can sew, cut, fold fabric, pack boxes and enjoy working together should come to our studio!"

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert - A Spanish rescuer carries two-year-old Redjeson Hausteen after he was rescued from a home that collapsed during Tuesday's earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010. © All rights reserved.

As I've mentioned before, I loved babywearing my girls. I'm a huge advocate of the benefits of babywearing, and I love to support the babywearing community. Many vendors have put together raffles to raise funds for Haiti. If you win and don't have a child to wear, you could donate the sling to a local babywearing or breastfeeding advocacy group, or to a women's shelter, thus doubling your giving!

Sleeping Baby Productions
is raffling off three ring slings. All proceeds will go to the International Red Cross.

Piece of Cloth has three wraps and one custom dye job up for their raffle.

Sweet Pickles is donating 5% of profits from all January sales. They are also researching ways to get babywearing and breastfeeding information into Haiti.

McKinley Kidz is raffling off a $100 gift card. Proceeds will be split between UNICEF and Partners in Health.

QuirkyBaby is raffling off a $100 gift card with proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders.

I will add to this list as I find more options, please share any reputable charitable opportunities you know of in the comments.

ADDED 1/15
Here are some adorable tie dyed onesies by Frugal Adeline- Kindred Crafters is paying the shipping, so 100% of the proceeds will go to Haiti.

Zerberts is currently donating 10% of their profits to disaster relief.

Hotslings will be donating 50% of all online retail sales MONDAY January 18 to The Red Cross for Haiti.

Mama by Design
: For
every Calyx baby carrier ordered between Monday Jan.11 through Monday, Jan. 18, $5 will go to Mercy Corps for their Haiti relief effort.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Anna Maria Horner's Multi-Tasker Tote

Trick or treat? When I was waaay too far into this project to turn back, it occurred to me that this might be a little too orange and black... I asked my hubby and he said it did look a little Halloween-ish. But I plowed through and it's growing on me! This is the Anna Maria Horner Multi-Tasker Tote, and I used Ikea home decorator weight fabric for the exterior and pocket panels.

This was one of the first patterns I've made that I really had to just trust in the directions and sort of sew blind at some points. Usually I can see the "why" of a given step in a project, but at times, with this bag, I was sure something was going to go terribly wrong. But it never did, and I kept having light bulb moments when I saw how each step came together. That actually made this project a lot of fun, it felt like lots of little victories! I wouldn't necessarily say it's a difficult pattern, but if I'd attempted it as a complete beginner I think I would have gotten frustrated. The directions are clear and well-written, but you can't make any assumptions about what comes next, there were some definite construction differences here from the average bag.

I debated whether I needed to use interfacing since I was using a heavier fabric (and since I didn't have enough interfacing in one piece and I'd have to scrap it together!). I remembered that my friend Becky made this bag last year, so I asked her what she thought and she recommended using it. I'm glad I did, it does make for a more structured bag, although if you like slouchy or want a bag that scrunches up small you could do without if you're using a fabric with any stiffness to it.
Inside the bag.

The straps act as drawstrings on the sides of the bag, so when it's all the way open it's VERY roomy! There's a nice big pocket on the inside with a key loop. The bottom is structured with fusible heavyweight/very firm interfacing, and I think I'll really like that feature. The pattern recommends sewing some sections into the pocket and I didn't do that. It's a wide pocket and if I put my phone in there it would likely tumble out. But I'm planning to use it for my wallet and it's just the right size for that. Plus, I fussy-cut the pocket piece to show the bird and I didn't want to sew through his head! I'm odd like that. But you could sew in pen slots, a just-right-size pocket for your phone, iPod, whatever!

My favorite feature of this bag are the four deep pockets on the outside. They are the perfect size for drinks- For size reference, the picture shows a 27 oz. Klean Kanteen and a Thermos Funtainer. I could easily get two more in the other side. The pockets wrap around and have a seam down the middle. This will be perfect for the farmer's market when everyone has their own drink!

The only thing I'd change about this pattern is adding a magnetic snap or maybe a button and loop at the top. It's such a nice big bag that I'm worried it will gape when I start to fill it up. But then again, it's a tote and should be easy to toss things into! So, I'll use it for a bit and report back.

(I don't know why my pictures appear blurry here- If you click them to see the full-size version, they are clear!)