30 January 2012

Lindsey Dress

Several months ago one of my favorite pattern designers on etsy put out a call for pattern testers. What's a pattern tester, you ask?  The designer sends you a copy of the pattern for you to sew & give feedback. The perk--you get a free pattern, the downside--if you're not quick on replying you miss out.  You also have to work quickly, turn-around is usually 2-4 days after receiving a pattern.

I said yes this time because I knew I had time & materials on hand. I planned to work on it Friday, but ended up sleeping all day because of an all-night birth.  I should remember that everytime I say yes, I end up at a birth!

Anyhow, this adorable little number is heading off to my darling niece in a few days.

Want to know where you can get this (and several other sweet patterns)?  Head over to Brynnberlee Designs!

Fabric stash used:  1.5 yards & 2 buttons.

16 January 2012

Fabric Wreath

The first stash busting project I decided to work on was a fabric wreath.  I had seen several variations of them, but couldn't find a really great tutorial.  I decided I was smart enough to figure it out, so I did.  I even kept track of what I was doing (amazing) so that I could teach someone else to do it.  So, in honor of completing my first project, I'm even publishing my directions here.

16" wire wreath
1 Moda Jelly Roll (if you are stash busting, you'll need 1.5 yards of 2 fabrics or 1 1/3 yards of 3 fabrics)
Pinking blade for rotary cutter
Cutting mat
Acrylic ruler

Time committment:
Prep: an hour or so to cut the fabric
Tying:  4 hours +/-

I used 38 different fabrics from the Jelly Roll.  Be sure to check to see how many fabrics you have.  You'll need a grand total of 560 5"x1.25" strips of fabric.  If you buy a larger wreath, you'll need more fabric.

Step 1:
Lay out the strips and cut them into 5" sections.  You may want to do a practice strip so that you can see if you can tie the 5" pieces or if you need another half inch or so of fabric.

Step 2:
Cut Jelly Roll strips in half so they are 1.25" wide.  I used the pinking blade for my rotary cutter.  If you are doing the same, make sure you check to see how wide your blade is.  To accommodate mine I had to place my ruler at the 1 3/8" mark.

Step 3:
If you have small people in your house, have them sort the strips by color for you.  Here's where the planning comes in.  Do you want blocks of color or random groupings?  I went for the random, scrappy look, but if you are doing your favorite sport's teams colors, you may want blocks of color.  The wreath I used had 4 rows of wires, so you could easily stripe one.

Step 4:

Fold the strips in half lengthwise, right side out for maximum visibility.

Start tying with a double knot to reduce the chance of them coming undone!  My 8 year old, Taryn, is pictured below tying strips on.  The girls had far more fun sorting the fabrics than tying them on!

I found that it was easiest to tie a strip on each wire and work in sections vs. working on one wire all the way around.  With the 16" wreath I used 16 strips on inner 2 wires, 18 strips on 3rd wire, and 20 strips on outer wire PER SECTION.

And the finished product!

15 January 2012

Goals for 2012

Taryn, my 8 year old daughter, loves American Girl dolls & books.  Her favorite stories are about Kit.  For those who don't know, Kit grew up during the Great Depression.  For some reason this has really made an impact on Taryn.  She will occasionally bring up something she learned in one of the books.  Lately she's been on a kick about "Waste not, want not."  We had a whole discussion about how it is better to look around and see what we have that we can use rather than making a trip to the store to buy it.

As I look around my very cluttered house, I realize I don't do a very good job of "waste not, want not."  I want new pillows for my living room, but can't find just exactly what will work.  But wait!  If I go digging around in one of the dozens of Rubbermaid totes in my very messy garage, I just might find what I want.

I'm determined to clear out the stash of fabric, yarn & scrapbooking supplies that I currently have, either by using them up, giving them away, or donating them to a charity who can use them.  If you love any of my hobbies, stay tuned for stash-clearing give-aways.  If you know of a charity who could use yarn or fabric, please post a comment with the info so that I can keep track of who might benefit from my extras!

I may even post a sew (or knit) along for projects I'm working on.  I have dozens of sewing, knitting & embroidery books I intend to use & will post what I'm working on as I go.