Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted. I had ONE New Year's resolution (well, a few but they were all towards one main purpose) and I haven't been keeping it. I just haven't had that much time to sew. I was able to make a few bibs and another purse (using the same pattern as my last one), but of course, I haven't taken any pictures of them.

I do, however, have a pic of a gift I made a few weeks ago (with E's help since we were pressed for time - hence the non-so-straight stitching) for my sister-in-law's new baby boy, who was actually just born a few days ago. It's a blanket and bib set made with Hoffman's "To the Rescue" flannel. I love the geometric pattern and actually just purchased the same fabric in another colorway to make another blanket for Littlefoot (or maybe some pants or bibs or burp cloths....we'll see).

The set is sitting on top of the blanket I made for Littlefoot. I made this blanket the exact same way, using natural flannel cotton for the backing and no batting in the middle.

I've also been building up my fabric stash. It gets expensive, for sure, but I've been trying to purchase only clearance/sale fabric. I could always go to Jo-Ann's and buy the cheapest stuff they have, but then half my inspiration would be out the window. I just can't get enough of all the beautiful prints I find online and in stores. I could spend all day just looking and imagining all the things I want to make. I lay awake at night, trying to plan out my next project. It's pretty crazy. I think the excitement of it all will fade a bit once I actually start sewing more often. I just need to get all these ideas out of my system.


Friday, January 8, 2010

My Sewing Machine

I'm guessing that checking your google reader isn't supposed to be a chore and you shouldn't sigh heavily when you see that you have 178 unread postings cause you know it's gonna take you 2 hours to get through them all.

But dude. So many tutorials. So many fabric lines. So many talented people helping out beginner (beginning?) sewers like me. There's so much information and I don't want to miss anything. I can spend all day just reading the tutorials (and never attempting any of them cause I'm a chicken).

One thing that I have learned is that I need a better sewing machine. We use a Janome in my sewing class and it's great! I love it so much. It's got so many different feet and even has a speed control on the machine itself. Stitches come out super straight and the fabric feeds beautifully.

My machine, however, is like a hyper puppy. You step on the pedal and it wants to take off. It gets the job done for sure, but I know I could be doing so much better with a machine that has more functions.

Truth be told, I think if you're eager to learn to sew, you should probably invest in a decent machine. A machine under $100 (which is what I have) is probably not going to cut it. Unless, of course, you can't afford anything better and/or you are determined to learn no matter what (this sentence applies to me). In which case, the machine I use is worth the money if only because of it's ease to thread and wind the bobbin and the fact that I'm still using the same needle that it came with and haven't had to change it yet (probably should have by now, but haven't. cause I'm lazy).

With all that said, here is the machine I use:

You can find it here

It's extremely simple (as the name implies). Nothing fancy. Nothing to write home about. But as I said, it gets the job done. And it's portable (comes with a handle on top). Which is very helpful when you live at Casa Luna (more on that later). 

Hope that helped anyone who might stumble upon this page by accident (which is highly unlikely). That doesn't include you, H. Cause you shouldn't be stumbling upon this page by accident. It should be on PURPOSE.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Somewhat Success

Now that the holidays are over I still find myself listening to Christmas music. It puts me in a good mood and reminds me of a few weeks ago when Christmas had yet to come. I know for some the holiday's can be a headache, but it wasn't for me. There were only a few rush-hour holiday shopping trips and even then, I didn't overspend as I tend to do. Plus, we were away on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was nice to be away with my mini-family. We really enjoyed ourselves.

Anyway, as I said in my last post, I finished up a project over the weekend. Here is a picture of it, taken with my iphone today at my office. I did my best to sharpen it with Picnik, but there's only so much I can do.

As I also mentioned in a previous post, I purchased the pattern for it on Etsy (a pdf file). While the pattern instructions were decent, a few key things were left out, which made for a few small mistakes. At least I put my seam ripper to good use. To be honest, I have a hard time with instructions in general. E can read something and understand it right away. Me, if there aren't pictures for every single step that needs to be done and I can't visualize it on my own, forget it. So, I can't really fault the pattern maker.

Overall, I think it's a decent purse - if you overlook the topstitching. Man, topstitching that sucker was a tough one (even with E's help). I made the mistake of using white thread, which only helped to showcase any stitching mistakes on the black exterior and green interior. Oh, and I also put the magnetic snap too close to the top edge, so I couldn't stitch above it. I found out later I could have tried using my zipper foot - but I haven't used it yet and switching sewing maching feet scares me. Anyway, there you go. My first real purse. Yay! Next time I'm going to try and take more pics as I go along, as part of my New Years resolution, but we'll see.


P.S. My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night - I downloaded a version of it by Mark Harris on Amazon. It's pretty amazing.

P.S.S. I used Ikea fabric for the outside of the bag. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

So, I wanted to start this blog so I could keep track of all my projects, but it's so time consuming to take good pics, upload them, edit them, and then post them. I guess that will be my New Year's resolution - to be more organized and consistent with my projects....and life in general. I'm a mess of disorganization and chaos....mostly in my own head.

With that said, I did complete a project over the long weekend. I don't have a pic yet (see above) but will have one soon.

Moving on....

I went to Michaels today at lunch to see if they had anything new. I bought some ribbon and also picked up this book. I'm guessing it was made for kids, but I'm thinking it will come in handy since I'm still a beginner. It's got a lot of good ideas and step by step directions for small items.

So that's it. I will leave you with a picture of some reindeer all lit up for Christmas. I took it at this place when we went to Las Vegas for Christmas. It was actually taken on Christmas Eve when we were all in the Christmas Spirit, bundled up and drinking hot chocolate. Fun!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Messenger Bag

So last night I was actually able to accomplish something. This isn't the pattern I was speaking of in my last post, but it's a tutorial I've been really wanting to try. Ally and I went shopping for fabric last week specifically so I could make her this bag but I haven't had time til now...well, I mean, if you call feeding a fussy baby in the middle of cutting fabric as having "time." Ha.

I was surprised at how easy it was to make - the author of the tutorial tells no lies. The straps are really long cause it's supposed to be worn across your chest but you could also tie a knot and wear it as a shoulder bag.

Cute and fun! For reals.

You can find the tutorial here:
Diary of a Quilter: The 32-minute messenger bag tutorial


Monday, December 28, 2009


So, with Christmas and work and kids and all that, I really haven't had time to sew. I need practice! I go to bed at night with so many ideas in my head but no time to execute any of them.

Anyway, here are a few things I made on a whim a few weeks ago. No pattern, just ideas in my head. The stitching is kinda bad, but I think with more practice, these would be pretty cool.

coaster and pouch

backside. not sure why this pic is so much brighter. whatever.

Last week I bought a pattern for a purse on etsy - looks easy but then again, I'm a beginner. Hopefully I will have a chance to try it this week. We'll see...

p.s. I use that coaster all the time and it works really well! Maybe I shoulda made some for gifts. Oh well. Too late. 


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Flannel Baby Blanket - Success!

So, a few weeks ago I decided that LittleFoot needed a new blanket. He has several baby blankets we received as gifts, but I wanted a blanket big enough to tuck into his crib mattress, not too thick, a cute pattern of my choosing, and one that didn't cost $30.

Enter Monaluna Urban Blooms flannel fabric. Cost = $7.75 a yard here.

I had planned on purchasing some organic flannel on Etsy for around $14/yard but on a trip to Wal-Mart a few days ago (on a Saturday smack dab in the middle of the holiday rush) I found some super soft, unbleached, undyed, flannel fabric for $2.97/yard. Yeah. 11 bucks cheaper than the organic one. I guess I can live with that.

Since I don't have a rotary cutter or self-healing mat yet (but I will in 3 days), I had to measure the fabric on the kitchen table using scissors, a basic ruler, marking pen, and some faith that I could cut the fabric straight, which I didn't. Oh, I also had E helping me, which was good and bad. But I won't go into detail here. 

Anyway, after I cut the fabric, I let it sit there for a few hours and look pretty cause I was too scared to sew it for fear that I wouldn't sew it straight (I have a problem with straight lines - cutting, sewing, drawing). It was somewhere around 10 at night when I finally threw caution to the wind and just did it. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. When I was finished I turned the blanket right side out, ironed it, and had E top-stitch it the first time around. Then I took over and top-stitched the 2nd time. I think it turned out pretty good, considering how worried I was that it would turn out lopsided. 

Here is LittleFoot moments after we finished it:

 Here is another pic of it, up close:

It would appear that Littlefoot likes it, no?

So let's see....

$7.75 for the top fabric
$2.97 for the bottom fabric
1 hour total of my (and E's) time

= a happy baby and his happy blanket