Home Dec sewing, or how I’m losing my mind…

Happy Spring! I’m a bit late getting this out, but I’ve been up to my ears in projects that need doing. We pulled the last of our siding off a month or so ago, put in the last of the new windows at the same time, and now I’ve decided (partway through installing trim) that I’m going to make the “window treatments” myself instead of just ordering them from a large online blind website or a big box store. Sign me up for the loony bin, I’ve lost what little sense I had left! I’ve got a book that tells me how to make all sorts of decorative furnishings and there’s an excellent video tutorial from Online Fabrics Store (who also, conveniently enough, happen to carry all the bits and bobs you need) on how to make roman shades.

Home Decorating Book

I know, it’s…uh…dated, but the ideas should still be sound. 😉

So last night I picked out my fabric from JoAnn (it’s gorgeous, but expensive), and at some point I’m going to have to bite the bullet and sew at least 3, but probably 6 roman shades. I hope I’m not in over my head, since both tutorials made it sound super easy. If I’m successful with the first three shades, I’ll commit to the remaining three, and if not, I haven’t bought the supplies for the second set (the bigger ones for the main living room) yet. I didn’t want to be out $$$ for something that I was incapable of finishing. I think that means I’m getting somewhat smarter. 😛

My machine has hairballs I’ve done so much sewing!

Well, OK, it did have hairballs. I cleaned them out a couple of days ago. All that fleece from making burp rags for a customer and myself made a disgusting little quilt under the needle plate and made my sewing machine sound more like a jackhammer. And if we’re being honest, I suspect I’ll be cleaning it out again here pretty soon because either there is a lot of fleece fuzz floating around in my sewing room or this quilting cotton is more linty than I anticipated, because my presserfoot looks like it’s trying to participate in no-shave November. And it’s been quite successful, I might add. 😉

Since I last blogged, I’ve made a dozen burp rags for a customer, another couple of bibs/burp rags for myself (I decided to hold off on making too many, just in case I ended up with more from friends/family), and pieced together most of a quilt.

Yes, you can back up and read it again if you like, but it really does say the words “piecing” and “quilt”. And I know that I said “never again” very emphatically after my last one, but….well, quilts that are ready made are not to my taste/style and expensive. This one is only expensive. Pictures or it didn’t happen, you say? Fine. Here’s a shot of it in it’s current unfinished state in my messy basement.

Click to make it bigger.

Click to make it bigger. If only that’s all it took to make it bigger in real life.

It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s rather pretty myself. 🙂 I really like the combo of the teal and the different shades of grey. There are actually going to be strips of white between each square, with little black squares at the corner of each of the big squares. As you can probably tell, there’s one more row that isn’t finished yet, and all of my white columns are still “in progress”–partly because I decided after laying it out last night that it needed to be a bit longer. This is going on my queen sized bed, and since my hubby is a “covers thief”, I want there to be some extra so that I don’t freeze! 😉

Wish me luck on wrapping this bad boy up here over the next week, I’m probably gonna need it! Also suggestions for backing would be appreciated. I was thinking a king-sized flat sheet? And the plan for quilting was using a twin needle on the outside of the “ditch”, would that look stupid or cool?

Necessities for the tiny new overlord

I know I said I’d be making curtains, and I actually did start on them, but then I ran out of thread and decided to make some burp rags. It’s only getting closer to the deadline, and I’ve been really anxious about having everything ready as it is, so I thought today was a perfectly cool, rainy day for making baby supplies. I was out of the prefold diapers, so my normal burp cloth pattern was out, but I remembered that my neighbor had sewed up a couple for her son that were like this, so I made up a template (using the scraps of posterboard that came between the floor planks for our spare bath–I am finding all kind of uses for those!) and started cutting. About 15 minutes later, I had 3 new burp cloths! Aren’t they cute?

So cute!

So cute!

Best of all? These were made using scraps from PJ’s for my eldest. I was kind of excited about using the black monster fabric, it’s just so cute and makes me ridiculously happy whenever I see it. Is that silly? I almost wish I had bought more of it, but for these little projects the odd-shaped yard-ish that I have left will probably go quite a ways, and that will have to be good enough. 🙂

Any bib tutorials ya’ll recommend? What are you working on?

Now in technicolor!

OK, so not actually in technicolor, but there’s pictures–color ones even! 😉 I promised them today, and (here at least), it still technically is, even though I’m slacking and didn’t get them up this morning or early afternoon. I know, I know, but after going to the K-State game yesterday I was kind of tired and fighting off the beginnings of a cold. Yuck. Speaking of football (you’d be surprised to learn that I’m not actually a fan…at all…) apparently our KC Chiefs are kicking some serious ass this year–probably for the first time in my lifetime (maybe even my parents’ lifetime). Even if you aren’t a sports fan, it’s still kind of cool when your “hometown” (or in my case “home state”) team is doing really well. Sort of like last year when the Shockers were doing so well in basketball–we kind of got into watching the games as a family. And believe me, I’d take college basketball over any other sport…except maybe the Olympics. 🙂

So anyway, here are the pictures of the things I sewed the other day (minus the mending–I’m not that cruel. 😉 )

Reversible headband, I had to use a hair elastic since I didn't have any elastic thin enough.

Reversible headband, I had to use a hair elastic since I didn’t have any elastic thin enough.

I don’t think I mentioned it the other day, but I used a regular “ouchless” hair elastic since I didn’t have any thin elastic (mine was all 3/4″ or wider) if you have longer hair, it might work for you, because I don’t think you’ll see it. It will depend on the size of your head though.

There's two pillowcases, even though it looks like one oddly shaped one here.

There’s two pillowcases, even though it looks like one oddly shaped one here.

Also, I didn’t do the contrast band on these, just a bias strip (the packaged kind) in turquoise to break up the print. I don’t know that I recommend it though, because it made the side seam bulky and it didn’t want to lie flat. I’d probably use a single layer ribbon or something with a finished edge that doesn’t need to be doubled next time. And there will be a next time, I’m planning a couple more pairs so that we have a few to choose from. 🙂

Tomorrow I’m hoping to tackle some curtains for our basement. The ones that are there currently are probably the originals, so as you can imagine they are in kind of sad shape and are a fantastically ugly print. I’m just hoping I have enough fabric to do a decent job since I’m really hoping to “shop the stash” for these. I think it’ll work, but it might be a bit of a squeeze.

If I get them finished in time, I’ll probably start cutting out the squares for my quilt. I still haven’t found a good light-colored fabric to set off my others, but I have to take my car in to be repaired after a minor meetup with a deer, so I’ll have an opportunity to see what all the quilt stores of the city have to offer. 😉

I really have no idea how every post gets so wordy, but that’s how it is. Hope ya’ll had a great weekend, and maybe I’ll “see” you again sometime in the coming week! 🙂

Back in the sewing saddle!

Hooray! I finally got to sit down and fire up my sewing machine!

I made up one of these headbands for #SewRedOctober. Technically, I made it yesterday, but didn’t feel it warranted a post of its own. Especially since it doesn’t “fit”…I mean, it fits my head, but my hair isn’t long enough, so the back looks really ugly and sticky-outy when I wear it. I also think I’d shave down the sides a bit if I were to do it again–the resulting headband is too wide for my child-sized head. 😉

Today has been another sewing day! I did some repair work on a pair of maternity shorts I had borrowed from a neighbor–the waistband was sewn on poorly by the manufacturer, so some of the stitching was barely on the waistband….needless to say, I pulled them on a couple of times and noticed that the waistband wasn’t completely stitched down anymore. Not a big deal, except that if I’d have paid for them, I’d have been a bit pissed given the cost of maternity clothes!

I’m also working on a couple of pillowcases for our “leg pillows”. I’ve been a hardcore side sleeper my whole life, but didn’t discover “leg pillows” until I was newly married. We ended up with pillows because my hubby started stealing mine. 😉 Sadly, we don’t own a single set of sheets that has 4 pillowcases, so I decided finally to replace the old nasty ones I got from Goodwill with a couple of newer, prettier ones. I used the measurements and such from this tutorial, and the burrito method from this tutorial. Next time I would just use the one from the Seasoned Homemaker, because the measurements have you end up with the same size of pillow case, it’s just that she didn’t provide finished measurements and Film In the Fridge did. (They both end up being about 20″x29″, if you’re in need of that info.)

In other sewing news, I am plotting a quilt. I know, I know. I’m eating my words over here. Really though, if you saw the sad state of my current bedding (and my budget), you’d completely understand why I broke my vow of “never again”. All I need right now is one 2 yard piece of white with a minimalist black or grey print to be the lattice pieces (I really liked a black/white version of Michael Miller’s “Pristine Paisley, but haven’t been able to find enough yardage. 😦 ). My inspiration was this quilt, which I figured even I couldn’t screw up. 😉 I was hoping to have someone else actually do the quilting, but when I found it out would be somewhere in the ballpark of $110 to sew some straight lines in the ditch, I figured I could tough it out. I’ll post more pictures and such Sunday when I’ve for sure got my pillowcases finished and photographed so that I can take pics (and upload them) all at once.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

The Staycation Project

This last week we’ve been on a staycation. Or, more specifically, my husband has been (since my new job doesn’t start until this week). His job requires him to take off a full week every year, and this was his week of choice. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go anywhere terribly special, but we did get to spend some quality time together as a family, and also as a couple when the little man went to grandma’s for a couple of days. Twas very nice. 🙂

Anyway, so while I know that we’re probably weird to everyone else, we enjoy working together on little projects. That’s not to say that we don’t disagree on stuff, just that for the most part we have fun and enjoy the companionship (and the challenge, of course). This last week our project was a laundry basket dresser. Our is a bit more fancy than the one in the original post, and will look a bit more like this one:

Photo by: jensimmons @ ana-white.com

Ours will be white (well, Fairhaven Grey), like this one, and it has some funky dimensions because we have 2 different types of laundry baskets and we’re too cheap to buy new ones for this when the old ones are in great shape. I totally stole the door and furniture feet idea from this version though, because it seemed like an awesome idea to make it a bit more classy. Though, if you are building something and want the little feet, plan to drive to a big box store–they’re in the trim aisle–because our locally owned store wasn’t even sure what we were talking about and didn’t carry them (not that they know in the big box store either–we found them by accident). We even got to use a router for the first time on this project. We’re totally going to have to get one of our own–this one was borrowed from the in-laws, and they’re probably going to want it back someday. It made putting the beadboard into the doors a whole lot easier, and gave the edges of the doors a slightly more professional look. We hope to get it painted up sometime in the coming week, once it dries out a bit. Though if the rain stays around all week we won’t cry about that either. 😉 We’ve been in serious need of rain for months.

Hopefully I’ll get some sewing done in the next couple of days, and I am confessing now that I cheated and bought a jacket to get me through until I get another one made up. As slow at sewing as I am, it seemed to make sense to purchase a jacket for starters and then make a backup so that I wasn’t rushed.

Have a great week! 🙂

The Story Chair

Remember the chair from this post? Well, it’s finished, and sadly, it’s been *thisclose* to being done for several weeks, but we had trouble finding a strong enough staple gun and then once we did, the cushion just never got screwed in place. Am I the only one who does this? Gets the hard part of a project done and then forgets about it for a while? Because yeah, it’s pretty much my signature move. 🙄

Anyway, here it is in the finished state. Much better! It’ll be so cute in my son’s room as a “bedtime story chair”. 🙂

To add piping or not add piping, that is the question

A few months ago, my husband’s workplace was clearing out some of their old stuff–office furniture–and I ended up with this:

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this is an ugly chair. The upholstery is brown for Pete’s sake! It’s also grungy, which is easily fixed, but other than that, there is little wrong with it. It’s structurally sound (after I glue the front edge of the arm back to it’s post), the finish is in good condition (probably because it was so coated in gunk), and has very few scratches. And the bonus? It was free–it and 3 of its friends that are in similar shape, since no one wanted them, we got our pick of the last 7 chairs, and we took 3 like the one above and the 4th one is an old-school leather office chair in near perfect shape.

But, I digress….the point of this post is to ask whether or not I should add piping to the front edge (like what was on it originally). I’m kind of leaning towards the “not” because I’m lazy and don’t want to do the extra work (pathetic, huh?) In my defense though, I have this fabric:

that I found at Jo-Ann’s yesterday and I’m having the stripes run from front to back. I made the effort to make it so that the stripes would match up and I’m not sure I want to break up that matching with the piping. Whatcha think?

I’m the nailing Queen!

Back when I was a seventh-grader, my school split my (already small) class in half and put us into two different classes. One had (very basic) sewing for the first semester (*snore* because I’d already known more than what was taught) and woodworking the second, and the other half of the class was the opposite. I got stuck in the sewing-then-woodworking group, and unfortunately, my parents decided that after the first semester it was a “brilliant” idea to move so my sister and I had to change schools. This absolutely sucked, because I missed out on woodworking class.

Turns out, I’m pretty freakin’ good at woodworking. And? I like it. So, for my first woodworking project, we are making our kiddo this awesome bed. I even have some of the typical crappy photos that I take for your visual non-enjoyment!

The headboard:

Miscellaneous pictures of the bed as we worked on it:

We still have the legs and some trim pieces to put on before we paint it (we’d like it to be a dark gunmetal grey–can you get a decent selection of metallic paint colors for wood???) and then move it into the bedroom before putting the headboard on. 🙂 It’s far from perfect (we need a planer!!), but for a first project, we’re thrilled at how it’s turning out.

Interfacing window treatments

I’m so going to do it. Gigi had been talking about window treatments for her newly remodeled bathroom and it reminded me that we still have these horrible miniblinds on the HUGE picture window. When we replaced it late last year, we had intended to replace the miniblinds and the curtains with roman shades or something, but after looking for something in our budget, (which didn’t exist, ha ha) we decided to just tough it out until we’d gotten the money together to buy something nice.

Anyway, in response to Gigi’s post, a comment was posted about using interfacing. The lady had promised to post pictures of it on her blog, and you can see that post here. I’m so going to do it–maybe not on the picture window….well, maybe on the picture window…we’ll see. I love how it lets in the light without everyone being able to see your business. Apparently it has some “staying power” as well. Can’t beat that!