Monday, June 14, 2010

Upcycled Pleated Beauty Bag

I knew I'd revisit the pleated beauty bag soon than later.  I just love the unique look to this pleated beauty.  I'm all for reducing, reusing, recycling.  But, don't get me wrong, I'm not all about mother earth, more for preserving this great world God has given us for future generations.  Anyway, getting back to reducing, reusing, recycling.  I try to find ways to make my crafting less expensive and repurpose items already out there.  Which is what I did for this bag.

I found a pair of linen pants at the Navy thrift store for a $1.  I was taking a bit of a risk that I'd get enough usable material out of one pair to make another pleated beauty bag, but they were size 18 so I thought that might help me.  The color was perfect for some leftover fabric from the bag I made myself.  A new word has emerged lately, that word is upcycle.  I particularly like this word, it is truly what I did with the pair of linen pants I picked up.

I knew right away who I was going to make the bag for, a beautiful young lady who was graduating from high school and moving on in her life.  I wanted her to know how beautiful she was and how special she was to us and those around her, and to God! 

Thank you for stopping by to visit Modge Podge Crafting, stop back soon to read about a Quilt-for-Life I made for Isaiah and yet another pleated beauty handbag I'm making for another friend.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Cupcake - Cupcake Pincushion

The question was...what do you sew for a an experienced seamstress for her birthday?  I wanted to make something special and unique.  While perusing the internet for more sewing project ideas (like I really need more project ideas I have projects pouring out of every corner of my crafting area) I ran across Portabellopixie blog by Sandi Henderson.  I knew I had stumbled onto something good!!  After reading about her new book release I ventured over to her shop and took a peak at what she had to offer.  I knew the moment I laid eyes on the cupcake pincushion pattern it would fit the 'special' and 'unique' I was looking for in that birthday gift I wanted to give!  After some searching, I discovered that pretty much everywhere on the net offers the pattern for the same price, but I was in a hurry to get started so I ordered it from a seller off eBay who promised to ship the pattern the next day to me.  In the mean time, I went shopping for the yummy fabrics that would make this sweet treat.

Let me tell you, her pattern directions are excellent and one step better were the color step-by-step pictures!  Ahhh, perfect for a visual learner, like me!  I got busy right away to make this darling little cupcake.  This was my first time sewing a swirl seam (not sure the official name) and I was quite nervous at first that I was going to royally mess it up.  Thankfully, it turned out much better than I expected.  I learned a little bit as I did each seam what works best for matching up the edges.  They weren't perfect, but I had decided that 'good enough' would be good enough, especially since I wasn't certain I could do any better the second go at it.  

So....the finished product!  It is a rather large pincushion.  It is stuffed with poly pellets in the bottom for weight and a small layer of poly along the frosting part with SOS pads for the rest.  The SOS pads worked great for stuffing and will help sharpen and keep sharp all the straight pins that find their new home in this yummy new pincushion.

Thank you for stopping by Modge Podge Crafting.  Come back again soon!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Free Pattern - Free is my friend!

I have really been enjoying my sewing exploits lately.  I have also been in love with the funky floral print fabric I used to make my handbag, the brown fabric is a cotton solid.  So, with this wonderful free pattern I found on the internet I made this beautiful tie dress as a birthday gift.

 I used the toddler version of the pattern and forgot to shrink the pattern for a 2T size, so the dress I made is a 3T.  I am amazed at the number of free patterns out there on the web.  I would much rather get something for free instead of buy it, who wouldn't right?!  As we say in our house, free is our friend!  :)  I used steam-a-seam2 for the embellishment on the bodice. 

Please remember to respect the pattern owner's wishes and never make items to sell if they request the pattern be used for personal use only.  Happy Sewing!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pleated Beauty Handbag - Something for myself!

Okay, so I do a lot of sewing, but mostly for others and rarely anything for myself.  After seeing a couple of these pleated beauty handbags a dear friend made I was smitten and just had to make one for myself.  They are trendy, chic, and just plain yummy!  The pattern can be found in "Bend the Rules Sewing" by Amy Karol.  The book has some other really cute patterns so I think it is worth the investment!  I now have it on my wish list for my own library as I just returned the borrowed copy. 

Please forgive my picture taking abilities...they need some help!  Here is the pleated beauty handbag.  A special thank you to my dear friend Fairlight for helping me along the way! 

The brown is linen and the print is a cotton fabric.  The pattern calls for embroidery, some machine and some by hand.  I decided to forgo the extra work and used Steam-a-Seam2 along with some of the flowers from the print fabric to add embellishments to my bag.  It made embellishing the bag super quick and super easy.  I was thrilled with the outcome and seeing the bag still puts a smile on my face!

What bag is complete without some matching accessories?  I just had to make a matching wallet to go along with my handbag.  The pattern I used is called Wallet Wonders and is by Lazy Girl Designs.  Both "Bending the Rules Sewing" and the Wallet Wonders pattern can be found at People, Places, and Quilts store in Summerville, SC.   The ladies at PPQ are incredibly helpful and very sweet.  I absolutely love my visits to PPQ, even when I just browse and don't buy anything.  It's like stepping back a generation or two to a time long since forgot by many.  It is a little taste of heaven.

I have to say that since buying my snap press from I will probably never use velcro again.  Putting in snaps is a breeze and should last the entire life of my wallet, unlike velcro.  I absolutely love my snap press and the 10 million choices for snaps, okay maybe not that many, but there are a lot and they are cheap! :) 

This will not be the last time you see these fabrics and color combinations.  I loved them so much that I decided to make a dress as a birthday gift from these same materials.  It is nearly complete and I'll blog about it in the next week or so.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cloth Diapers - Nothing like Grandma used!

Cloth diapering has become more and more popular.  While pregnant last year with our youngest child, I decided I wanted to revisit the idea of cloth diapering again.  Our oldest, now 14, was cloth diapered for awhile.  It only took searching the internet for maybe 10 minutes to realize that cloth diapers have left the dark ages and are quite modern now!  They are pretty comparable to disposable with many more benefits.  If you can sew, even just a little bit, you can make some great cloth diapers for rather cheap.  I've tried out several patterns, mostly free ones found on the web.  However, since Liam was 5 weeks old we have been practicing Elimination Communication (also known as infant potty training, though I don't particular care for that title) I was looking for a diaper that made pottying the baby easier.  

I stumbled across Chloe's Toes Boutique one day spending way too much time on the internet!  (Who doesn't right?!)  What I immediately loved about her fitted cloth diaper pattern was that it used all FOE (Foldover Elastic featured in the photo above) and thus making it perfect for Liam to wear as a diaper or as trainers!!  I also loved that the pattern was suppose to be super quick and easy, what busy mommy doesn't want quick and easy?!  I have to tell you that when the pattern arrived and I opened it up to read the instructions I was amazed at how thorough they were and the many different options for the pattern.  The pattern ranges in size from preemie (doll size) to XXL.  It can be used to make fitted diapers, pocket diapers, AIO (All in one) diapers.  I felt like I had hit the jackpot.  Then....what was even better...was the fact that because the entire edge of the diaper was elasticized they could be putted up and down without being unsnapped.  Hooray, they will be perfect for potty runs, too!

The first diaper probably took me about 1 1/2 hours to make.  I am a very visual learner, so I had to pay close attention to the instructions and photos, so it did take quite a bit longer to make sure I was following each step properly.

This was the trial run diaper, and the first time I've sewn with FOE.  I learned I definitely have to pull the elastic tighter around the legs next time, but I was thrilled with how the first run went!  The last photo is of the FOE.  Foldover elastic is sooo easy to work with, I don't know why I was so nervous to use it!

Please note, I have never been asked to review a product or been offered anything free for my reviews.  I just love to share what works great for us! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crazy Quilting - Is Crazy Fun!


It's been awhile since I've posted.  Most of my recent creations were Christmas gifts, so out of fear of the recipients seeing their gift featured, I've waited until after the holidays to post.  Well, you know how it goes, time gets away from you and before you know months have past!

I want to feature Crazy Shortcut Quilts, a quilting book I bought in the fall.  I stumbled upon it while viewing a quilting video on YouTube.  Remember me telling you I get most of my ideas from YouTube?  This is no exception!  So,one of the authors of this book has some excellent videos on YouTube to go along with the book.  For a visual learner like me, that is like hitting a gold mine!
 I'm not great at matching fabric colors and patterns so I purchased these coordinating quilting fabrics as a kit at AC Moore (of course I used the lovely 50% off coupons they offer on occasion).  I then came up with my own crazy shortcut pattern.  Normally, you'd use the same number of different patterned fabrics for the number of blocks you are doing.  I did 12 blocks total, but I decided to do 2 blocks of 6 different prints because I didn't want to have to buy more fabric.  I did end up not having enough of the striped fabric to do the backing in all one print, so I took all my material to the local quilting store and had the wonderful ladies there help me coordinate the fabrics.

I followed the directions for the "Bright Idea" quilt starting on page 48 of the book.  Here is a sample of one of the blocks quilted.  When I took this photo I had already decided the layout, that is why there is a tag pinned to the block.  Since I went with 6 different prints for 12 blocks, I had some repeating patterns in the same location in some of the blocks.  This bothered me at first, but then I decided that since it was my first and handmade it wasn't going to be perfect.  Once I got over that hang up, I really started to like how the quilt was turning out.  Below is a photo of the blocks laid out on the floor.  It took awhile for me to decide in which order I wanted to sew them together. 
In order to cut down the blocks in preparation for the sashing, I decided to use a whiteboard marker to draw lines on my template so that the quilted seams were in the same place on each block as I cut them down.  They are really hard to see, but in the middle picture you may notice green lines on the template, those are the lines I drew as a guide so I knew where to place the template for cutting the blocks down to size.

Here is an up close look at the back sashing and quilting.  What I love about the back is that it reminds me of watermelon!   I have such fond memories of stopping by the side of the road in Nebraska at a produce stand, with my Dad growing up, and buying a huge watermelon for us to take home and eat.  We'd sit outside and munch away on the yummy treat!  I was always perplexed why some chose to sprinkle salt on their watermelon.  I thought it was perfect just the way God made it!  What sweet memories!

Here are the 12 blocks laid out in the order in which they will be sewn together.  At this point, I wasn't so "crazy" about how it looked...the old adage "don't judge a book by its cover" kept running through my head.
It was a challenge to get the colors evenly distributed due to using only 6 print fabrics.  Next time I'll be sure to select the same number of prints as the number of blocks I'll be using to make the quilt.

In the end, I decided that since it was a crazy quilt it was okay for it to be a bit psychedelic.  I loved the book.  The instructions were excellent and straightforward.

The finished quilt front shown on top and back on bottom.  Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate them!