Friday, May 25, 2012

Wedding Season - Clutch Edition

It's wedding season!!  So in my last post I blogged about my shoes for the upcoming wedding.  I also started making clutches.  I actually have made about 15 of these lately, but I think this is the one I will take for the wedding night (not sure which one yet I will take for rehearsal)
I ended up using the wrong side of a silky print, plain black as it had just the bit of texture (and I didn't end up wanting the shiny) for the outside and a silky print multi-color feather print for the inside.  Obviously with the flap up you see the pop of color, but when closed, all you see is a barely there hint of color.  
This clutch is an easy, afternoon project.  I'm including a tutorial for it - although I took process pics with a different set of fabrics.  I also ended up adding a magnet closure to the evening clutches, and I had not to the day clutches.  It stayed closed fairly well even without the magnet, so either way should work.

  • (2) coordinating fabrics.  Minimum is 10.5"x18", although I had a larger swatch of fabric so I ended up adding an optional pocket for the inside.
  • firm, iron-on stabilizer (I used decor-bond)
  • thick craft backing (honestly, I no longer have any idea what this actually is.  I bought it next to the stabilizer, but it is thick - like 1/8th inch thick.  It is fusible on one side, but I didn't use that property.) 
 Fuse firm, iron-on stabilizer (decor-bond) to the wrong side of each fabric.  Cut to 10.5"x18".  If you have any fabric left, you can cut a 4.25"x6" piece from each color for the inside pocket.  At one point I used the entire leftover piece and made a two inside pockets - up to you how much organization you will want.
 Inside pockets: If you are going to create pockets, fuse stabilizer to the back of these pieces too.  Layer the fabrics Face to Face (F2F - meaning right sides together).  Pin and sew using a 1/4" seam.  I left a three or so inch opening for turning the pocket.  I like to do this in the middle of the long side, but I know others have preferences such as leaving one entire side opening - up to you on that one.
Trim the corners being sure NOT to cut any actual thread (this will allow better corners when turning)
Turn right-side out through the opening, press with iron, turn in the 3" opening and press.  I didn't sew this separate (although you could), instead I pinned to the inside layer of clutch and sewed three sides (sewing closed the opening).

To get this to work out correctly, I centered pocket about 9" from the bottom.  Be sure one of the sewn edges is towards the top of the clutch so the pocket top will have a finished edge.  Attach sewing only the three sides to be sure you have a pocket and not just a swatch of color when you are done :)
 Layer the two big pieces of fabric F2F (right sides together).  I pin a section of this just to be sure.  I measured about 5" down from the top and used my square and triangle to cut an angle in the flap (this part is totally optional and you could also cut a rounded edge or even leave rectangular based on what finished look you were going for.)
 Pin the entire rectangular shape, leaving an opening for turning.  I again prefer the middle of one side and left an opening about 5" wide.  Sew using a 1/4" seam.  Trim corners and turn right-side out.  Iron wrinkles out and iron the 1/4" seam for the opening.
Before you sew anything closed, this is your chance to add in the thick stabilizer.  I cut a section to 6"x10" and slid it in through the opening.  I wanted the "back" of the clutch to be the sturdiest, so I added it to the middle section - just below the start of the angle.

Take the bottom of the clutch and fold onto itself until just below the angle of the flap.  Pin in place.

Sew (I used my walking foot - typically for quilting - as it handles bulkier items better).  I used about 1/8" seam on all sides except for the bottom fold.  Be sure to backstitch a few times on the points most prone to pulled stitches - where the bottom meets the top.

Iron one more time and you're all set!!

Carry with flap out or flap tucked in...Endless color combos...I'm addicted - of course!

Linky Party for Your 'Final'ly Friday projects.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wedding Season - Shoe edition

So it's officially wedding season for me!  We had a crazy summer 2 years ago that included 9 weddings!! That seemed crazy.  While this summer isn't nearly that full, we do have several coming.  One (the fanciest of all of them) is this coming weekend.  In preparation, I have been crafting.

My hubby is in the wedding party for this one so we have a rehearsal AND black-tie optional reception that I needed to prepare for.  Both are pretty formal events for my neck of the woods.  I decided to wear a form-fitting, yet conservative sleeveless black number for the rehearsal.  I wanted to punch it up a bit, so I went and got some pinkish shoes.  I didn't like the brown wedge with the black dress, so I added the lace to the wedge (I used a glue stick to apply, so I am hoping it will come off later - I'll let you know how that goes).
 So I got the lace at JoAnn's.  I decided to get a floral lace, and it was a bit heavier on the "print" than some - which I thought would be darker coverage.  I used my tiny scissors and cut to the needed shape.  Then used a glue stick to attach the back center first then out from there.
The final product is fairly dark overall (which I was going for so it would match my black dress better.)  If I remember, I will try to get a pick with my shoes and dress at the event.

I made a clutch that I thought would coordinate, but as pink as I thought my shoes were, they seemed quite red in comparison to my fabric.  More on this in the next post.

I decided I didn't want to spend the money to buy a new black-tie-optional dress.  I had this black column dress from who knows when that I thought I would wear.  It was strapless and floor length.  HOWEVER, most of my friends are wearing cocktail dresses, so I decided to have mine altered to just below the knee length instead.  This made me think of shoes again.  I thought about buying new, but I don't do formal all that often and all the shoes I loved, I knew I would only wear once.  SO..... I decided to again alter a pair that I already have.  Again, I was trying to think of something that would be temporary.  Shoe clips!!!  Great!!  I looked around online for some inspiration, and found myself gravitating toward the peacock feathers.
 So there seem to be two options with shoe clips - on the toe area or side.  These ended up being fairly long, so I went with the side.  I got the various feathers from the local Michael's.  As you can see, I didn't have any actual shoe clips yet.  I ordered some online and hope to get them tomorrow and plan to glue the  feathers to the shoe clip (I used floral tape first to attach in layers until I liked the look - then glued the set of them together)
I added a bit of the same lace from the rehearsal shoes as I liked the background/texture it added to the mix.  Again, I used the binder clips for pics, but I promise, it should look nicer with the shoe clips.

I am thinking about adding a feather or two to a headband or hair piece for the evening to coordinate, but that all depends on what happens at my haircut on Thursday (I currently have shoulder-length dark brown hair, but am thinking of short and blonde).

Wish me luck!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Letters, Letters, Letters

So I am organizing/hosting the ROGB fabric swap.  Red-orange, Green, and Blue is a great color combo.  Unusual in some respects, but coordinates well.  This color combo is called  "split-complimentary" as rather than using only two colors (opposite sides of color wheel), you use three colors (a Y shape - one from one side of color wheel, then split the difference on each side of the wheel.
I am addicted to fabric, but like scrappy looking quilts with a nice variety of fabrics.  One of the best ways to get a variety of fabrics is in a fabric swap.  Each person purchases X amount of fabric, cuts as determined by the swap host, then sends the cut fabric to the host.  The host collects all fabric, collates all prints so that each person receives some of every print, and sends the fabric sets back to each participant.
I decided to do a "double-charm" fabric swap (I found out after I named the swap that these 5"x10" pieces of fabric are sometimes called "bricks.")  oops - Next time I'll name it more appropriately.

1-yard of (3) fabrics: (1)red-orange print, (1)green, and (1) blue fabric.

I still have a few spots left on the swap.  I am going for 28 participants total (this will mean 1 brick each from each fabric to still total receiving bricks totaling 3 yards returned to you).  Click HERE for sign-ups. Or, click HERE or HERE for other posts about the swap.

So some time ago I had seen THIS tutorial by Angela Yosten for Moda.  It is a tutorial for an adorable ABC book.  I made them a couple of Christmases ago for my nieces.

I was addicted (go figure).  I ended up making a few more - using different background fabrics.  I have recently sold the last of them on my ETSY shop. I go making more.  You can still get this same Deb Strain fabric panel - but because it is older, from an independent, small online shop rather than the big ones (I had bought like 8 of them about a year ago knowing that I would want to make more.  I still have 6 remaining).  **to get this to fit on 5" charms, you have to get the panel that has the LOVE U thing in the middle.  The alphabet only panel has 5.5" blocks if I'm not mistaken.  I know that I have seen another alphabet panel (10 little things) that might be cute to make a book out of as an alternate.

I don't want to diminish Andrea's tutorial - so go check it out.  But, I do make a few adjustments when making my own.  For instance, rather than grommets, I make small button holes in the top corner, and use a piece of elastic or suede cording for the loop.  I feel like this makes it more baby friendly.  I'll update with pics as I get the new version completed.

Linky party below!!  Add a link to recent work(s) for the rest of us to enjoy.

Friday, April 27, 2012

RO-GB sign-ups and 'Final'ly Friday Linky

'Final'ly Friday Linky at the bottom - don't forget to post about your recent fabulousness!

RO-GB double charm (brick) swap:
So....I am organizing a double-charm(5"x10"), (3) yard, split-complimentary color swap - using red-orange, green, and blue color pallet.  Each participant will purchase (1) yard each of (3) fabrics [(1) red-orange, (1) green, and (1) blue].

Sew Sane Jane
I posted all the gritty details in my last post HERE.  Please refer to that post if this is the first you are hearing about the swap.  For those that know and agree to the details, here is a bit more an the colors I have chosen.  Again, I want to be sure to give credit to Jenni of In Color Order. She has been an amazing resource of color knowledge and expertise!!  She wrote a blog series on "The Art of Choosing [Colors]."  I have learned a lot about color reading her blog - including about split-complimentary colors.  I love several of the color combos, but am leaning towards the red-orange, green, blue color combo.  Below is the color wheel that Jenni made to depit this combo of colors:
Red-orange, Green, Blue
Thank you to Jenni of
for creating the fabulous color wheel for our viewing pleasure
We still have about 10 spots available.  If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. To sign up, Please complete the sign-up form HERE

Okay, Color talk.  In my details of the swap, I wrote that "the fabric can have flecks of other colors, but should still 'read' the specific color."  This is somewhat hard to explain without pictures.  What I mean essentially is that I should be able to glance at a fabric and say, "that's a X color fabric."  For instance, if I am looking for green fabrics, I want to find something that is primarily green.  If it has too many or too predominate other colors in it, I don't focus on the green.

I went to Hawthorne Threads (a great online fabric site where you can search for fabrics by a color grid.) and pulled a few fabrics for an example.  You can click on each fabric for information about print and to go to the Hawthorne site for purchasing.  While these are a wide variety of greens - they all read green.

 While these have green in them, the other colors/patterns seem to pull the eye away from the green.  Thus, while all great fabrics, I would not recommend them when searching for a fabric that "reads" green.

Reminder: Join the Fabric Swap Finder Flickr Group to hear about upcoming swaps, give input into the next swaps, post about and solicit members for your next swap, etc.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Swap-Tastic Newness = RO-GB

One Down, One Up, and More to Go.  I am now ADDICTED to hosting swaps!!  (and participating of course!!)

One Down: So I have recently wrapped up my Charm-Tastic Color Swap.  We swapped 5" rainbow charms - each of 28 participants assigned a color to result in loveliness:
Click on button to see our flickr group of all fabrics chosen
I had a great time hosting the swap (I know I vented a bit in my last update, but although I feel awful being the heavy, it worked) and want to start another right away!!!  I have been kicking around ideas for a bit.  I have (2) different ideas forming in my head, but think for this swap I am going to go for "Split-Complimentary Colors." 

One Up: I love the idea of complimentary colors (colors that are across from each other on the color wheel) - which is likely why I have been loving the teal/red color combo lately.  However, I also feel like that color combo has been in a few recent swaps.  I don't want swappers to get bored with the same color swaps and not paticipate.  Thus, I decided to try a variation on the comlimentary color swap - a split complimentary color swap.

Jenni of In Color Order has been an amazing resource of color knowledge and expertise!!  She wrote a blog series on "The Art of Choosing [Colors]."  I have learned a lot about color reading her blog - including about split-complimentary colors.  I love several of the color combos, but am leaning towards the red-orange, green, blue color combo.  Below is the color wheel that Jenni made to depit this combo of colors:
Red-orange, Green, Blue
Thank you to Jenni of
for creating the fabulous color wheel for our viewing pleasure
So....I am organizing a double-charm(5"x10"), (3) yard, split-complimentary color swap - using red-orange, green, and blue color pallet.  Each participant will purchase (1) yard each of (3) fabrics [(1) red-orange, (1) green, and (1) blue].

Sew Sane Jane

SWAP STILL OPEN.  WE NEED ABOUT 10 MORE PEOPLE TO SIGN UP.  Remember, you only have to purchase 3 yards of fabric, and you receive a fabulous mix of fabrics in the same color scheme that equals 3 yards back. To sign up, Please complete the sign-up form HERE

Side Notes:

  • Once you choose submit for that section, that information will be sent to me but others will not be able to see it.  I will send out a confirmation e-mail to you and solicitation to join our flickr group.
  • You will need to be on flickr to participate (so sign-up for an account if you do not have one).  
  • Please only sign up if you are in a smoke-free home as smoke clings to fabric like you would not believe.  
  • International participants welcome - we will just have to adjust shipping dates to ensure we get everything in a timely manner. 
  • Our goal is that I have all fabric received by 6/4 at the latest so I can collate and send out directly

The Deal:
Once you get a confirmation of participation e-mail from yours truly:
  • You will buy (1) yard of fabric of (3) different fabrics - [(1) red-orange, (1) green, & (1) blue]
    • fabric should be 100% high quality quilters cotton (from LQS or reputable online quilt fabric store - NO JoAnn or Hobby Lobby fabric allowed - it really isn't as good of quality!)
    • Your fabric should "read" the specific color, but it can have small flecks of other colors if you choose.  
    • You may go for solids or prints as you see fit.  If choosing prints: you should steer clear of large print fabrics as once they are cut into 5"x10" double charms you loose the print.
    • do NOT wash your fabric.  
  • You will post on our flickr group which prints you have selected to ensure there are no doubles.  When you do, this is where you should also include info about the print for others to see - fabric name, line, company (this is always helpful if you fall in love with a fabric and need more for your stash!).
  • You will cut your selected fabric into "Double Charms" = 5"x10" charms (Tutorial for cutting posted soon - careful as you cut these - or you might need 1 1/8th yard of fabric)
    • Each yard of fabric should = (28) 5"x10" charms.  Which means that total you will be sending me (84) double charms total.
  • You will put your stacks of fabric into a Ziploc baggie and include the details of you and your fabrics on an index card
    • your name, e-mail address, physical address, fabric name and company, ...
  • You will send me your fabric, index card, and a self addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) (Flat Rate envelopes are FABULOUS!) to me no later than 6/4 (I'm going to be out of town a week in there so that's why the extra week).  
    • I recommend using a flat-rate envelope ($5.15-5.30) as it is the simpliest way to ensure that the return package is pre-paid fully. 
    • ***Make sure that you get stamps for pre-paid or complete the transaction online as a print-out.  There were some issues for my last swap about other methods of pre-payment.  Namely, if your post office gives you the barcode version with the date stamped on it - my post office yells at me and threatens to not send it through unless I pay another $5.15.  The ones with the $5.15 stamps or the print-outs from USPS online had no trouble or scolding
  • Enjoy your (84) double-charms once they are sent back to you!
 If you (international or not) would prefer that I cut the fabrics - Order fabrics online, have them sent to me, and for a nominal fee I will cut for you.  If you are intested in this option, please contact me and I will set up an Etsy "sale" for this (to cover the nominal fee + cost of shipping back to you in lieu of SASE (US residents: this totals $9.00; international participants: $20.00USD))

Hopefully More to Go: Stay tuned to this blog AND the Fabric Swap Finder for more swaps coming throughout the year ... ADDICTED!!

Reminder: Join the Fabric Swap Finder Flickr Group to hear about upcoming swaps, give input into the next swaps, post about and solicit members for your next swap, etc.

Friday, April 20, 2012

'Final'ly Friday Linky & Lots of Littles

IT'S FINALLY FRIDAY!!  (Insert Happy Dance Here!) and Lots of Littles (meaning little updates)
(Linky (and instructions) at bottom of this post to link-up progress made this week.)

Inspiration Stacks update
For me, I have mostly had to work this week.  I did work a bit more trying to fight with my inspiration and stacks project.  I mostly have scrapped the idea of making it into a mini quilt (the pieces were too big for a mini, mini quilt, and I didn't have enough of all the fabric to make a decent size mini quilt).  Instead, I think I might turn it into the center of what will be a new ironing board cover.

So you might be able to tell a bit from the picture, my current ironing board cover is dull and disgusting!  I had a VERY cute one when I first purchased the item - but my iron has a tendency to spit brown water, and the old one quickly got gross.  I went to a few stores, and to buy a cute new cover costs almost the same as buying a new ironing board!!  So I thought I would just make one.  That was about 2 years ago.

In the mean time, I got a boring, ugly one from Wal-Mart (I rationalized that I shouldn't pay too much money for it, but I could use it as a pattern/template when the time came.  I still have the same one  - only now covered with ugly brown water spots of its own.  This will perhaps be the very inspiration I need to actually get to making a cover that I am not so ashamed of that I hide it in pictures!

I also have an update on the
that I am hosting.  
So one of the drawbacks to hosting is that I have to be the heavy.  I have a participant that I knew was going to be up to a week late with her fabrics.  At the time that I let her sign up anyway, I had 12 of 28 people, and figured that even if she sent it a week late, I would still be sorting and it wouldn't hold me up at all.  Now, two weeks late, I am having to send a sad e-mail that says, now or never.  That makes me feel awful because life happens and I know she really wants to participate!  I also know that I have others waiting patiently for their fantastic charms.  They are ready so send....almost.  I have all the colors sorted (that's my OCD kicking in that they have to be in color order) and all I will need is about an hour or so to do the final collating line.  

and as soon as I get the last set of fabrics (either from the participant or an alternate) - they are off! Whoo Hooo!

I also figured that I would give you a heads-up to a great little friendly competition going on over at Sew Happy Geek.  Jenna created a "Play Mini Quilt Competition."  You choose a card (from a deck of playing cards) and create a mini quilt using that card as your inspiration.  She has found LOTS of fantastic sponsors to give fabulous prizes for winners of various categories.  I'm excited to get designing and see what everyone else comes up with.   Check it out and think about joining!

SewHappyGeek Play Button

LINK US UP TO YOUR 'Final'ly Friday updates:
Here are the Linky Party rules (fairly standard from my experience)
  1. Link up a Recent work you have blogged about (in the last week or two)
  2. Link up to (2) recent projects
  3. Your projects should be crafty in nature (a DIY of some sort)
  4. Somewhere in your original post you should link to SewSaneJane 
    1. you could either grab the button below (on in right column) and insert directly into your post, or insert a text hyperlink (such as: I am linking up here to 'Final'ly Friday w/SewSaneJane or I am linking up here with [insert code from below grab button here in your HTML view])
  5. Visit at least (2) other link-ups at some point in the week - try to formulate a relevant comment on at least (1) of those link-ups (paying it forward of sorts - if you view and comment, others will do the same of your work)
**I will have the link party open all day on Friday and go into next week for you to link-up.  Even after the linky party closes, you can still see link-ups and visit their projects.  Hope you enjoy linky parties as much as I do!  With that in mind, the grab button is off in the right column if you are interested (feel free to add to your blog and include in your posts as you see fit).  Link away (find link widget just below my signature pic)!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Inspiration "Stacks" and a growl

So about 6months ago I bought these perception cards from Usborn Books. I got them to use in class when I get to the Sensation and Perception chapter (educator by day). I like most of the 50 cards that were in the set, but I actually had this one hanging on my board in my office.

Depending on your reference point, the blocks could be stacked so the darkest color is the top of the block, the bottom of the block, or even the side of the block. This entertains me greatly, and I stare at it frequently!!

So one day while I was not grading, I decided i should try to replicate with fabric.

This is where the growling. Comes into play. I fist decided to try with some pinkish/purplish fabric as a trial run. I didn't have much of these fabrics, I just wanted to test out some different size ideas.

So I finally figured out the general size I wanted, but apparently put the triangle in on the wrong angle. Additionally, I forgot to shift when I was pinning to allow for the 1/4" seam, this it looked pretty awful when I got done.

I decided to try with another color family, a blue/teal combo. I was feeling confident since I knew what went wrong, and cut all the fabric of the relevant colors.....

This was fine except I forgot to cut on the opposite diagonal so when I rotated 90*, I realized it wouldn't line up right. More growling!!! So, I had to go back and cut all the pieces down a bit so they were 4.5" on all sides (previously cut to 4.5"x5.5").

Which also meant that I had to re-cut the 60* triangles to 4.5" too.

I liked it all laid out (although I think the triangles might be too wide. I need to think about that a bit longer.)

More on the rest the the growls of this project later! I didn't have a fun time piecing this together and think it will become a runner down the center of a new ironing board cover.

 I still like this idea but need to make some changes to the sizes I think . (and reading a few other blogs for tips about sewing equilateral triangles won't hurt either :)

Linking up with:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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