Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Sew N Tell, Place Mats

Last week I decided our "dining room" table needed some revamping. The table cloth was stained and the place mats were just plain yucky. I found a picture of some quilted place mats somewhere out there in the blogosphere and was inspired to use up some of my scraps of fabric. I had a lot of yellow scraps, and then threw in some red and blues and one or two green scraps too.

Here is Charlie's:

And this one is mine:

I can't decide if we should find a new table cloth or just leave the table as it is. What do you think?

Now Charlie and I need to take etiquette lessons so we can stop eating like slobs and keep our quilted place mats clean.

Check out the Sew N Tell Finishes and have a Happy Friday!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Sew N' Tell

My Dad gave me this book for my birthday:
Design-it-Yourself Clothes. I opened it and read 3 pages and we so excited and inspired that I started sewing right away! Instead of wasting time making my own pattern like the author talks about I decided to just take a pattern I had and modify it. I had already made two of these shirts and I like the pattern but the top of it was getting kind of boring. I got out a paper grocery bag and modified the pattern pieces with the book on my desk providing me with emotional support, even though I had yet to read more than 5 pages. Here it is:

It has elastic on the top to make that bunchy look. I think I will experiment more with this technique, and maybe practice smocking!

This shirt also gave me a chance to use my serger. I used it on all the seams and then the ones that showed I folded over and sewed up, much easier than a seam with only a sewing machine.
The only problem with a serger is that a sewing machine seems so slow once you go back to it.

Be sure to check out the other Friday finishes, and Jaimie's giveaway!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010


In attempts to keep with my 24 goals I accomplished one today. It was actually goal 24; which is to find something enjoyable to do everyday. But then I realized I told myself I would do that goal everyday so that's one down and 364 more to go! Today's was very fun and very enjoyable!

I really liked the movie Yes Man, did any of you see it? My friend Keith recommended it and it was very funny. Anyways there is a part where the love interest leads a running group with people who take pictures while they run. That part always makes me laugh (although I've only seen the movie once, so I re-phrase that to "That part made me laugh".) Here's the quote, hopefully it will make more sense after you read it:

"I lead a jogging, photo group for people who want to both exercise and practice photography."

I always liked that idea. Today when I got up at 6:03 am to go running I looked outside and instead of seeing a town where the sidewalks were un-plowed and highly dangerous, and the streets we filled with a salty muddy mixture, I saw a town blanketed in over a foot of fresh white snow. Crisp snow that was still hanging on the tree branches and untouched by other people and their dogs. And my first thought was, "I'll bring the camera when I go running today."

I set out with the camera tucked into the pocket of my insanely yellow reflective running jacket and set out for a run.

Here are a few of the shots:
The cemetery down the street.

The train is coming....

I told ya.

One I actually took while running at full speed (I was in the
road because the sidewalks weren't plowed.)

Too pretty not to stop and get a good shot.
Following the sun.
The sun rising.

And then I was home.
And this one is kind of cheating because it was taken from my bathroom.
It was just too pretty to pass up.

If you like what you see there are more pictures on my flickr page.

This run was very enjoyable, I found that instead of sticking to the normal route I run I was running in search of a good shot; which mostly involved finding a good spot to see the sun rising. It certainly made the run through the snow at 6 am more enjoyable. The only problem was that the camera got kind of cold and stopped working for a few minutes. I wonder how experienced runographer's deal with that problem?


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

24 Things To Do In My 24th Year

Yesterday I turned 24. My dad reminded my to change my "About Me" to reflect my new age, be sure to check that out over there--->

After diner Charlie asked me if there was anything I wanted to do this year, I told him a few things off the top of my head. When I said one of them he said; "Yeah right!" Then this morning in between sleep and awake I decided that I could not only do the one thing Charlie said "yeah right" to, but to also challenge myself to do 24 things this year, here is my list:

1. Graduate with my Master's degree.
2. Find a job.
3. Move closer to the White Mountains and find a (2 bedroom) apartment.
4. Cook more meals/ be more adventurous in the kitchen.
5. Read for fun.
6. Make outfits/clothing for myself.
7. Run a long race (more than a half marathon, but less than a marathon.)
8. Be more appreciative of what people do for me.
9. Stop complaining about my parent's divorce; it's been 5 years, I should probably get over it.
10. Draw and paint.
11. Go to farmer's markets.
12. Be more aware of what I eat and where it came from.
13. Be nicer.
14. Start an etsy shop.
15. Learn how to and execute the refurbishment of my dresser. (A project I have been meaning to do since I got the dresser 4 years ago.)
16. Volunteer.
17. Accept my nose, it's big, oh well, it's mine. Like my dad says; "If your nose was any smaller I wouldn't know you were coming into the room."
18. Make at least 1 more quilt, and experiment with new quilting techniques. (But let's be honest, this will probably turn into about 3 quilts.)
19. Be more giving with my sewing projects, who really needs 43 purses?
20. Have confidence in the things I do, say, and wear.
21. Organize and simplify.
22. Learn more about having good credit, saving money, stocks, just money in general, since sometime soon I will have some.
23. Watch less TV.
24. Find something enjoyable to do, and something to be happy about everyday.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on my progress. And hopefully having a written record of my goals will help me stick to the challenge.

Off to conquer the world!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thank you MOOD

Last week I went to New York City. My Grammy invited me to go along with her, and being an unemployed graduate student with a month long break I gladly said yes. My only request was that I get to spend time in the garment district. And low and behold when we got off the train at Penn Station my uncle met us there, walked us 6 blocks and we were staying in a hotel right IN the garment district.

Now in case you were unaware, I love Project Runway. If you're my dad read the next few sentences, if not, and you know what this show is, you can probably skip ahead. Project Runway is a reality show about people who want to be famous clothing designers and they have challenges and have to design clothes for models. In the show the designers go to a fabric store called MOOD. One of the hosts of the show, Tim Gunn, takes all the designers there once they know their challenge, gives them a time limit to shop, usually 30 minutes, and a budget. Then the designers run around in a frantic way buying fabric and zippers and muslin. At the end they get these really nice bags and then all leave the store and say; "Thank you MOOD."

Okay everyone else start reading again!

So on Saturday while my Grammy went to a play my Uncle Doug and Bryan, his partner, took me to MOOD. MOOD is inside a building and so I felt very cool knowing that even though the building didn't have any signs or anything that the shop was inside, and up 3 flights of stairs.

My Mum sent me $40 for my trip and Doug and Bryan joked that they were going to give me 30 minutes to shop and only allow me to spend the $40 my Mum had given me. It's a good thing they gave me more time because MOOD was more than I had ever dreamed of. 3 floors of this:

Nearly floor to ceiling delightful kinds of fabric. All of which are nicely arranged based on style and material. For example here is Doug in the alpaca section.

And here I am sampling the entire wall of fringe and sequins, oh la la:

I thought that the best part would be the huge selection of fabric...and let me tell you it was amazingly awesome, but I must say the absolute best part of MOOD was how nice the people who work there are. The employees seem to just walk around searching for people to help. It's like they get paid on commission or something! I am not sure if I say this because the people who work at Joann fabrics are complete Bozos and I only have them to compare to, but even Doug thought the people were really nice, and he's a New Yorker (I'm not sure where I am going with that comment so I will stop before I get into trouble).

I ended up buying 2 kinds of fabric on this trip and as I was approaching the register to pay I saw a box of zippers on the floor that said "7 inch zippers 30 cents, over 7 inches 75 cents". I have said numerous times that I am bad at math, but I knew this was a deal! I snatched up all the pretty colored zippers I could find with visions of hundreds of mini box pouches.

Doug an Bryan were not as enthralled as I was so they sat near the door and happened to strike up a conversation with one of the employees, a nice 20 something woman named Sarah. When I approached them with my treasures in a nice (but not as nice as Project Runway contestants get) MOOD bag I said very excitedly; "Look zippers for 30 CENTS!" And then Sarah said "Oh you like my zipper box? That was my way of getting rid of inventory without having to write it all down." I had to restrain myself from asking her to be my new best friend, because I already have one, and because people don't usually like it when you have known them for .25 seconds and ask to be their best friend. I just told Sarah that I really did like her zipper box and then we left. Except halfway down the stairs I remembered to say; "Thank you MOOD" in my best Tim Gunn impersonating voice, and then Sarah said "You're welcome". I know we are meant to be friends in another lifetime.

Luckily this is not the end of my story. Oh no. I only bought two kinds of fabric out of all the wonderful kinds there because I was so overwhelmed. Only two, how sad. On Monday before we had to leave I got up early and showered and packed and told Grammy that I was heading to MOOD on my own to get some more supplies. This time I really did have a 30 minute time restriction and funds were running somewhat low. I did end up buying two more kinds of fabric. We won't get into how much over-budget I went on this episode, but let's just say I would probably be disqualified from Project Runway. Here they are 4 extremely soft and lovely jersey-ish fabrics:

I am planning to make some cute summer dresses and a cool shirt that I have been dreaming about for ages. And as for the jersey fabric which I usually shy away from...don't worry Lauren, you've got a serger!

And now I am off to start sewing!


Friday, January 15, 2010

Sew N' Tell Scrunchie Bag

For Christmas my Mum gave me the book One Yard Wonders. It's great! There are loads of cool ideas and patterns to make all sorts of things out of only one yard of fabric! It's a great way to use up all of those yards of fabric that I randomly buy because they are so pretty or are on sale, and then they just sit in a corner. That was what I thought...but then after Christmas my Mum and I took Jaimie (my brothers girl-friend) to Mardens and went one yard crazy!!!

I bought 4 different kinds of fabric, and the total was less than $14! Talk about a steal!

My first project from the book was the Scrunchie Bag (pg. 166). I really like it. Here's the front:

And the back.
I did make a few modifications to the pattern. First I added a zippered pocket on the outside, perfect for holding my chapstick, keys and cell phone. Then I added an inside pouch pocket, good for holding a grocery list (I like to put the grocery list in the pocket but never look at it when I am at the store). When I cut out the pieces I thought they seemed a little big, and Charlie confirmed my thoughts that it would have been too big enough to fit a small child, so I made it smaller. And lastly the pattern told me to add elastic on the bottom of the bag to make it scrunch. I didn't want yucky white elastic on the bottom of my bag so I made a cover out of scraps of fabric to hide the white elastic, but the effect is still the same.

Now I just have to figure out which projects to make and use the rest of my fabric!

Be sure to check out the other Sew N' Tell's for the week!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas Sew N' Tell

Well Christmas has long come and gone and I realized that now is my chance to show all of the things I that I sewed for my friends and family. Then I realized that I did not take any pictures of the multiple purses, clutches, coin purses or mini duffel bags that I created. So instead here is a post about all of the ornaments that I made for my family and friends, and of course myself.

Here's Mr. and Mrs. Claus made from clothes pins.
Close up of Santa.
Snowman, also made from a clothespin, and a toothpick nose and a thread spool hat.
Clothespin ornaments of Charlie and I to commemorate our Half Marathon Success.
And here is another Santa ornament that I made from a dried milk-weed pod. I remembered making these in the 5th grade with one of my favorite teachers of all time, Mrs. Kenney. I collected milk-weed pods in the fall and then did my best to remember what they looked like and made a few of these.
Then I went to my moms house and the first version from 5th grade was on the tree:
Now this leads me to one of two possible assumptions. 1. I was way better at crafts in the 5th grade than I am now, or 2. Mrs. Kenney had a lot more to do with the creation and execution of this ornament than I remembered.

Here's another bird ornament that I made for my Mum.
Also for Christmas my Mum gave me two kits from Posie Gets Cozy. I have made one kit and here are two of the finished results. I love them! A little tree with sequin snowflakes.
A cute little deer.
And lastly, here is something I actually sewed for the Sew N' Tell. Two Christmas dishtowels I made for my Grammy.

I can't wait to see the other things that everyone else was keeping secret over the holidays on Amy's blog.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...