Tag Archives: sewing

Sewing Adventures

3 Jan

Last Saturday, I didn’t have anything going on and since it was pretty much the last open weekend we have until March, I decided it was the perfect time to finish my sewing projects.

First up was redoing Travis’ Christmas stocking and making Emma’s. I am happy to say that these stockings went MUCH smoother than the last ones and I am a LOT better at using the sewing machine. Funny how practicing something makes you better at it.

Though they’re still not perfect, my OCD self is very pleased with how these turned out.

blendsgiving 026 (Large)I think Emma’s stocking (in the middle) is the cutest. I’d be tempted to claim it as my own if she weren’t my daughter.

blendsgiving 027 (Large)Next up was the crib skirt for the nursery. I unfortunately can’t find the blog tutorial I used to get the general idea of how to make this crib skirt, but there are a lot of them out there. And since I am possibly the least qualified person to explain how to make this, I will leave it to others.

I’ll just say that I cut a white rectangle of fabric to go under the mattress, and then sewed 4 other rectangles of 2 different sizes to the edges (after hemming the exposed edges first). There are brackets on each corner of the crib that hold the metal springy thing (what the mattress sits on) in place and they interfere a bit with how the crib skirt falls. If I were to do this again, I might look into just tacking 4 pieces of fabric directly to the crib, instead of sewing them all together (there are tutorials for that too). BUT, since my sewing skills have dramatically improved over the past couple of months, I am thrilled with how this crib skirt turned out.

blendsgiving 024 (Large)My last sewing project for yesterday was to cover a pillow for the glider. Again, I will spare you the tutorial, since I got the whole thing done and it was twice as wide as it needed to be. It was a simple fix – I just cut it in two and sewed those edges. And I ended up with 2 pillowcases for the effort of 1! (Though I’m not sure I need 2.)

blendsgiving 022 (Large) And here is how the nursery looks with all of the chevron pattern together:

blendsgiving 025 (Large)That’s a lot of zig zags. But I love it.

I also love being able to put my sewing machine away for another year! 😉 Sewing, for me, is a means to an end. I don’t sew for fun. I sew to save money and still get what I want. And I’m happy to say I accomplished that.

(If for some reason, you’re really interested in how I made these, email me and I’ll let you know.)

Christmas Stockings: November Goal

30 Nov

My 2012 goals took a major hit with the whole pregnancy thing. I really wasn’t expecting to get pregnant as fast as we did so I didn’t really make goals that could be done either way.

Climb a 14er… Couldn’t do this because that high of altitude when you’re expecting is a no-no.

Bike 50 miles at once... The only bike ride I’ve gone on in the past 6 months, I almost fell off due to slick roads. I quickly abandoned this goal. (I’m not sad.)

Run 700 miles… I’ve only “ran” 37 miles since the beginning of August which puts me at 563 miles for the year. (So close and yet so far away!) 4.4 miles each day for the next 31 days would get me to my goal… hmmm, let me ponder that.

Read 27 books… I’m only on book 17. And 7 of those books I didn’t even read! (I listened to audio books on my drive home.)

Finish writing my nonfiction book… No comment.

BUT!

I did accomplish my November goal. And I have plans to accomplish October (pumpkin bread) and December (watch It’s a Wonderful Life) as well.

So, about my November goal – Make our own Christmas stockings.

I always see other people do projects like these and think “Oh that looks fun! I should do that!” And even though this project involved sewing (which I am definitely not good at), the stocking tutorials here and here that I followed made it seem like even a sewing-challenged person like me could make them.

So I went for it. I got my fabric, printed out the template, cut out my fabric and started sewing. After a few mishaps and miscalculations, the stockings are hung.

20121129_202032

They’re not perfect and they were definitely more challenging than I had expected (but only because I sew like once every 2 years). I’m still not satisfied with Travis’ (the one on the left – the toe area is a little misshapen since I was still getting the hang of not sewing in a straight line with a machine). I’m planning to make a stocking for our little girl so I might remake Travis’ at the same time. The little ones in the middle were for our dogs but they turned out MUCH smaller than I had planned. They actually kind of look like little baby booties!

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, I made our own Christmas stockings so I’m counting this goal accomplished!

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

28 Nov

Our Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful – we did a little bit of everything:

  • Relaxed and cuddled with the pooches
  • Ate lots of yummy food
  • Finished every meal off with pie and ice cream or cool whip
  • Watched football and movies
  • Went shopping on Black Friday (I went with friends at 4:30 and then again around 11 – the crowds were worse in the afternoon!)
  • Walked the dogs in the warm, yet crisp fall air
  • My mom and I sewed a valance, tablecloth and curtain tiebacks for my kitchen
The pattern is from Hancock Fabrics and called ‘Apple a Day.’ I love it! It’s kitchen-y without being what I call “country bumpkin.”

 

  • Went out to eat for sushi and fish tacos
  • Drank wine and coffee
  • Played Rummikub and Chinese Checkers (Travis won, of course.)
  • Drove up into the mountains and saw about 50 elk all in one spot!
I didn’t notice the stick in front of my dad’s face until I uploaded the pictures this morning. Bummer!
As you can see, they were right in the middle of town! We saw them after our hike, crossing the highway through Evergreen. Crazy elk!

 

  • Caught up on family news
  • Cuddled with the pooches
  • Travis and I completed a crossword!
  • Went to church
  • I got in all of my planned workouts somehow:

Monday: 5.97 mile run (1:07:13, 11:15 pace) – ran first 2 miles outside with the dogs and the last 4 at the Rec on the track

Tuesday: 1.7 mile walk with dogs

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 4.1 mile run (46:05, 11:14 pace)

Friday: 1.88 mile walk with dogs

Saturday: 35 min weight training, 20 min elliptical intervals – I was very sore the next day from the weights. I think it was because I hadn’t used the weight machines in a while and I did 30 pushups on my feet!

Sunday: 3.04 mile run (34:11, 11:14 pace), 1.3 mile easy hike

I love balancing relaxation with productivity!

We all remarked how it seemed like my parents would be out here for a while but the days flew by and all of a sudden, it was time for them to leave. This is perhaps the thing I am most thankful for during the holiday season: how awesome and amazing our families are. You don’t get to choose your family, much less your spouse’s family, and both Travis and I have been blessed to have wonderful, kind, thoughtful, well-adjusted, non-crazy families who we truly enjoy spending time with. We are always sad to see them leave, or be leaving ourselves. This is one gift that I am very aware is rare. Good friends that understand you are rare. Absolutely loving your family is even rarer.

My parents are amazing people – so generous, thoughtful, tender-hearted. So dedicated to their family. So interested in their children’s lives. So welcoming of sons- and daughters-in-law. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such awesome parents and want my future kids to get to know them. Thanks Mom and Dad – for coming out here to visit and for being such great parents.

DIY Valance

23 Nov

Ever since starting to work at home back in March, I have been on the hunt for the perfect valance for my office. I love damask patterns, so I was really looking for one like that but couldn’t find one that would fit since the window itself is only 2′ tall.

So I made my own!

I had attempted to sew things before making this valance with the sewing machine I got from Travis’ grandma but the thread kept bunching up on the underside of the fabric and I couldn’t figure out why. Beth (my MIL) suggested adjusting the thread tension, which I did. And while I think that was part of the problem, I soon discovered the real reason I was having problems: I was forgetting to lower the foot where the thread comes out (excuse me if there’s a technical name for that). D’oh! So now, I just have to learn how to feed the fabric through in a straight line!

Regardless, here is the how the valance turned out:

 

Colors for the office are now pink, orange and teal

I had at first planned for it to be just a piece of fabric hanging across the window (like a flat valance) but even though I only made it 12″ long, it covered up 1/2 the window. And since my sewing job wasn’t the greatest, bunching it up and tying bows helped to make it shorter AND hid my poor seams. 😉

 

Closeup of the fabric and bows

Since I am proof that even a non-sewer can sew something and make it look decent, here is how I made this: I bought 2 yards of fabric (the window is about 4′ wide). I folded the fabric in 1/2 the long way and sewed shut all the open ends (top and 2 sides). I then folded the top down about 3 or 4 inches (depending on the size of your curtain rod) and sewed that, creating a pocket for the curtain rod. If you are creating a flat valance, you would probably also want to sew a seam along the bottom (about 3″ from the bottom), just for the visual.

Anyway, it’s not complicated or hard at all. It’s pretty much just using common sense. But not only was this cheaper than buying an actual valance (I think the fabric was less than $10), I got to choose the fabric I wanted AND make it the right length for our window (since it’s more of a midget window than a normal one).

Here is my office right now:

 

Where I have been spending my workin' days - see the cute pink lampshade?

I am planning on adding wooden letters painted pink and orange spelled HOPE right above my desk, to the left of my lamp. It’s on my To-Do List!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!