tiny and cute

I have important things to do, but I took a little time here and there over the past few days to make a tiny pink bunny. Because sometimes you just need to do something pointless like that. 

image from www.flickr.com

I can't take much credit for the cuteness, I used a pattern and kit from The Old Pincushion, purchased over a year ago. She has lots of very cute patterns (and the supplies) for various little creatures, I can wholeheartedly recommend her shop.

And now I'm patting myself on the back for actually finishing a project, even though it is quite tiny. 

image from www.flickr.com

Most of the sewing was done by hand. I am not particularly talented with this, or with making small things. It's not something I will probably do very often, but the challenge of it is fun once in a while. 

image from www.flickr.com

I'm quite tempted by the tiny elephant pattern. Perhaps I should order it now, so I can make it next year.

image from www.flickr.com

Do you like hand sewing and making tiny things? 

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sewing class

Sewing class

Who is ready for a sew-a-long? I think this will be really fun! Over the next few weeks, I'll do a couple posts a week about all sorts of sewing skills. Each post will conclude with a small assignment, and each assignment will actually be a step in making a skirt. So when we're all done, we'll each have a new, well-fitting, well-made skirt. How does that sound? 

I have chosen a pattern for a simple, lined, pencil skirt with an invisible zipper. I think it's a great wardrobe basic that everyone can use. It's Vogue 1127, a Badgley Mischka design (but don't let that scare you!), and I thought it was nice because it includes a lovely blouse and jacket, which make it really versatile, and it's just a great, classic design that will flatter a lot of different shapes. The skirt itself doesn't take much fabric, either. I splurged on a good, 100% wool flannel in grey, which I picked up at Jo-ann. With a 40% off coupon (and you should never buy anything there without a coupon! They even have coupons on their iPhone app!), it was less than $15. Just for fun, I'm going to line it with a bright coral fabric. 

image from www.flickr.com

This week we'll cover basic sewing supplies and machine care and choosing the right size pattern and selecting fabric. So by next week, you'll have everything you need to get started. 

This is going to be a really interactive project, so I really hope you'll join in and spread the word! I've got some buttons (at the end of this post) that you can take and use on your own blogs. And please, please use and read the comments! Ask questions, share links and photos! Let me know if you want to join, and I'll create a page with links to everyone who'll be sewing along. Suggestions are also welcome! 

Today's assignment: Spread the word, clean up or set up your sewing area, and stay tuned for more in a day or two!

All posts will be tagged 'sewing class', and I'll add a button to the sidebar that will take you right there. Please take a button and use it wherever you'd like!

Sewing class 150 

Sewing class 100
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failure

Sometimes things just don't work out how I imagine them in my head. Flush from the success of my window patchwork and my corner office, I thought I'd teach myself how to do paper piecing. It was all going pretty well, and then I got to the second-to-last piece.

Paper piecing

Back to the drawing board. It seems that each piece can only have one seam, and I tried to do two. If any paper piecing experts are reading this, is that the case? I'm off to do a little more research. I just thought it would be good to share the failures along with the successes to keep me honest. 

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inefficiency

Another window has been dressed, and I really love it. I'm in a sewing mood lately, it seems. This long skinny window is next to the door in my little house studio, so I thought it would be fun to do something colorful and bright in this light, white space. I started out by pulling out some scraps from my scrap basket, and piecing them together. Since I didn't have much of a plan to start with, I just did a row of patches at a time. It was probably not the most efficient way to go about it, and probably took longer than it should have, but it was a pleasant sort of quiet busy-ness.

image from www.flickr.com

I just lined it with a bit of lightweight white cotton and hung it with tension rods at the top and bottom. I love how it looks a little bit like stained glass with the light shining through. The colors are so cheery, they make me happy to look at them.

image from www.flickr.com

As I sew, I always hear the voice of my college clothing construction teacher. She was a brilliant seamstress, and I learned so much from her classes. I was thinking it would be fun to have a little online blog sewing class. I'll pick out a pattern-probably a skirt to start, then maybe a blouse-and anyone who wants to join in, can! Is anyone interested? We'll cover everything from choosing sewing supplies and equipment to adjusting a pattern to fit.

 image from www.flickr.com

I'll work out the details this week and start up the week after. 

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shade

I'm ready to start tackling some slightly bigger projects around the house now that I have the time, hopefully one or two every week!

When we moved in many, many years ago, almost every window had mini-blinds. The depth of my mini-blind loathing cannot be adequately expressed in polite language. I managed to remove the worst offenders in years past, but there have been a few hangers-on, taunting me with their dusty, broken slats. So I hereby declare February the month in which I will eliminate the last mini-blinds from my home, if it kills me.

First up, are the doors, front and back. Well, actually, I removed the blinds from the front door, painted it, and started on a simple linen shade, but Mr. HeyLucy had strong feelings about the way it was looking. Since he doesn't usually have much of an opinion regarding my home decor projects, I decided to appease him and go another direction for the front door, and use the shade in my little house studio instead, which desperately needs some window treatments all around. 

image from www.flickr.com

When I was in high school, I worked in a drapery workroom. It was the 80s and we made lots of Roman shades and balloon shades. I like this updated take, it's simple and soft. I am considering adding a border or embroidery to the bottom, but I've got to take care of some other windows first. 

image from www.flickr.com

It's just unlined, washed linen, and it used a minimal amount of fabric, which happened to be a curtain panel from our old house. Since my professional drapery sewing days were a few years ago, I referred to Simple Soft Furnishings for specific directions. I can't recommend that book highly enough. The projects are all very straight-forward, and easily adaptable for any style of decor. Next up, I think I will do a colorful patchwork kind of thing for that long window next to the door.

image from www.flickr.com

It feels good to have that done!

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books books books!

I have a book to give away here on the blog this week, and you can give away 20 books if you hurry! I'll tell you about mine last, because it's not as important or exciting as World Book Night! Have you heard about this? I should have mentioned it sooner, but I signed up at what I thought was the last minute and then didn't think about it again until I got an email the other day that I had been accepted and would get the opportunity to share twenty copies of a favorite book. 

Books

So, what is this World Book Night thing, you may be asking? It started last year in the UK and has expanded to include the US and Ireland this year! It's a charity for the promotion of literacy and reading, which is very dear to my heart. Anyone in these three countries can apply to recieve twenty copies of a favorite book (you choose from a list of 30 very good books-I had to really think about which I wanted to share) to be given away in a location of your choosing-preferably to non-readers, on April 23. I chose Peace Like a River, which is that rare kind of book that stays with you for years and years. Narrated by a young boy whose voice has been compared to Scout Finch or  Huck Finn, it is the story of a family and a tragedy and miracles and goodness. I can't wait to share it!

Go apply right now, the deadline is Monday, February 6th at midnight EST. You don't have to write long essays for each question, just give succinct but thoughtful answers and I think you'll have a good chance at being accepted. At least that's what I did. 

Now for a little blog giveaway. It's been awhile since I've done one, but I just received a copy of the new paperback edition of Creative Quilting with Beads, which I contributed to a few years ago.

image from www.flickr.com

It's got lots of fun projects, and even if you don't want to replicate them exactly, it's good for inspiration for everything from bags to wall hangings to fridge magnets (I think theses are super cute and would make great little brooches). I recently cleaned out my bead stash, so I might even include an assortment of seed beads and a little sewing kit along with the book.   

Quilting

To enter, just leave a comment and tell us about a favorite quilting project or beading project (links to pictures are encouraged!) you've done or dream of doing. I'll leave the comments open until next weekend. 

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