Friday, December 25, 2009

Your Mission...

I have decided to make the world a better place and I have started with a one-woman war against Christmas fabric.  It's not like I plan to napalm fabric stores selling holly-laden bolts, but I do plan to rescue Christmas fabric from the sewing machines of others who intend to turn it into a tree skirt or a table runner or some country-time-lemonade Christmas quilt.  Yikes!

Instead, I am going to take Christmas fabric and use it to make gift bags!  Hah!  The idea all started last year when my mother gave me a yard and a half of holly/poinsettia fabric.  Ugh!  I politely thanked her, but inwardly cringed at the thought of contributing to a world already filled with too many holiday quilts.    After letting the yardage sit in the back of my fabric stash for a few months, I started to think about holiday gift bags.  Instead of wasting paper, I could create a pretty, reusable Christmas gift bag.

They were great!  I made about five bags using this pattern.  What a relief!  I was no longer burdened with Christmas fabric.  Little did I know that I would soon be given another half-yard of blue Christmas tree fabric.  Would this cycle never end?  Then, over the summer I happened upon an estate sale up the road from me. The little old lady had been a sewer and they were selling off her fabric! I found a few packages of Christmas fabric and immediately realized that I had a mission to complete:  I had to make more gift bags!

I gave away my last roll of wrapping paper and used handmade drawstring bags to package presents this year.  For gift tags, I cut up old Christmas cards and punched holes in them.

So, Sewer Sluts, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join me in this effort.  Rescue fabric from a pathetic fate as a table runner and make some gift bags!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Artsy-Fartsy Kitchen

This piece of embroidery is heading out into the mail today.  My friend's birthday was yesterday, so hopefully she'll forgive me for being a day or two late.  I used another Sublime Stitching kit called Krazy Kitchen.  For the lettering, I looked on my computer and used a font called Musicals that I had previously downloaded from this site.  I then printed out the text, placed a piece of Dritz's wax-free tracing paper between the printout and the fabric, and traced the letters using a ball point pen.  They did not come out very clearly, so I then went over the tracing with a pencil.  I hope she likes it!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wedding Dress?

I want to wear a vintage dress at my wedding next year.  I intend to visit as many vintage clothing shops as I can.  I've already scoured the stores in Santa Cruz and those surrounding Cary, NC.  I'm sure a trip up to San Francisco is in order and perhaps a little jaunt over to Austin, TX, because I hear their vintage selection is pretty fabulous.

It's a crapshoot, I know, to go from rack to rack hoping that the perfect dress is hanging there without tears or stains.  I also have to hope that it fits or is a size or two too big, so that it can be altered.  I just don't want to get a cookie cutter dress from a bridal boutique, but I also realize that I may never find that one-of-a-kind dress, so I have a back-up plan:  I will make my dress.

I have checked on Etsy and other internet sites that specialize in vintage dress patterns.  I found some really fabulous ones, but they sell for big bucks.  Plus most of them have really tiny bust and waist measurements, which would mean that I would have to figure out how to re-size a pattern. (My brain hurts just thinking about that!) I don't think I want to spend $90.00 on just a pattern, so when I got a notice that some Vogue patterns were selling for $3.99 on their site, I went to the Vintage Vogue section and found my back-up dress:

It is an original 1955 pattern reprint.  If I actually end up making my dress, I think that I want to do the shorter version.  I love the long waist and the off-the-shoulder design of this pattern.  I'll have to find some fabulous fabric.  There's a discount fabric store not far from my home, so I'll probably have to start making frequent trips there, because their stock varies.  So what do you think?  Any thoughts or suggestions?  I'll probably do a dry-run of this dress pattern with some extra yardage I have just sitting around to make sure that it fits and that I can actually pull this off!  Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Frame it!

My mom is always trying to give me things when I go home for visits.  On my last visit, she went through her old stash of embroidery and showed me two bird embroidery samplers that she had completed over thirty years ago. I suggested that we get frames for them and hang them up in her house, but she insisted that I take them back to Santa Cruz and put them up on my wall.  So that is exactly what I have done:

(I had to take the pictures of them from a slight angle to prevent the flash from showing on the glass in the photo.)  I really love the way they look in the blue frames!

She also gave me two Japanese Geisha samplers.  One is completely finished and the other is not.  I need to work on the one and then decide whether I want to frame them or hang them from a ribbon.