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21  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Fabric Covered Notepad/List Wallet Tutorial on: December 11, 2009 04:20:45 PM

These little fabric covered notepads make great Christmas gifts for moms, mother-in-laws, aunts, grandmas, teachers and generally anyone who needs to keep a pad of paper handy.

You can make them out of scraps that you've pieced together, or use one long strip of fabric as I've used in this tutorial. Its a very customizable project so I've just laid out some basic measurements and steps for making your own. So simple you'll be able to get a whole set done before Christmas break! I've also posted this tute on my blog but I thought I'd share the wealth with my Craftster friends!

What you will need:
Fabric (Enough to make a 33"x6" length of fabric)
-A 6" length of 1/2 inch wide elastic
-A mini legal pad (You can get a pack of 12 for $6.99 at Staples)
-A 5"x8" piece of cardboard or matte (I use matte scraps that I am able to get for free from my local framing shop and I just cut them to size, they seem to work best.)
-Fusible interfacing if you are adding applique

Cut a 33"x6" length of fabric. I am adding a strip of patchwork applique to mine so I also assembled a 33"x1" strip of patchwork.

Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your applique strip.

Remove paper backing.

Position applique to desired spot on the right side of your 33"x6" piece of fabric.

Iron in place.

Using a zigzag stitch, stitch up both sides of the applique strip.

Press seams.

Fold under one half inch on each short end press.

Fold under another half inch and press. Stitch both folded hems and press.

Right sides together fold one side up 6 inches and press.

Fold the other side up 8 inches, right sides together and press.

Place elastic inside the 8 inch fold about one inch from the bottom of the fold.

(I forgot to do this step before stitching the seams so I just
partially opened the seam on both sides with a seam ripper and threaded the elastic through and restitched the seam closed.)

Stitch up both sides with a 3/8" seam. Reinforce elastic section with a zigzag stitch.

Trim seams with pinking shears and clip corners.

Turn right side out and press.

Take cardboard and slip in 8" pocket.

Slip cardboard back of notepad into 6" pocket.

Flip elastic to inside of cover.

Wrap elastic from cover around back of notepad and Ta da!

You're done! You now have an awesome fabric covered notepad for the person in need of organization!

Happy sewing and be blessed!

22  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Warm & Cozy Yellow Craft Room (Many Pictures! And now a VIDEO!) on: November 08, 2009 10:24:48 PM

When we moved into our current house, there was a room behind the garage that had lots of potential. The previous tenants had painted it dark blue with black trim so after we got the OK from our landlord we did a bit of light renovation, to tear out the closet fixture and after many coats of primer we brought the shade up to this beautiful white and yellow. We also replaced the carpet and hung a light fixture. It has become my first ever room devoted mostly to sewing, crafting and creating. The futon has helped it also be used as a guest room on occasion. We just found out last week that our landlords will not be renewing our lease which is up on January 12, (not due to anything we've done, they want to repair much of the damage the previous tenants have done to the rest of the house and they can't do much of it with us living here according to the notice we got) and I had been meaning to share my beautiful craft room here on craftster for awhile now. So please enjoy as we say goodbye together to my beautiful studio/craft room/guest room.


Cabinet where I keep my craft books, glue, beading supplies, etc. The suitcases on top hold fabric less than full yard cuts and felt.

My worktable and pegboard organizer, which I custom painted myself. The framed portion is black board paint.
The cabinet on the far side contains bins that I keep much of the fabric and current projects in behind the curtain I made for it.

Futon and "loft" shelf where I keep my packaging boxes and organized fabric and extra sewing machine. (I have 3!)

I made the futon cover out of a bedspread from urban outfitters. The futon was free from my husband's grandmother. The shelf for the fabric is from Ikea.

I store my fabric that are full yard lengths or longer on the shelves. I cut cardboard to fit the shelves and wrapped the fabric around that. I also keep records I'm waiting to turn into clocks, my clock movements and my extra sewing box.

My sewing table and chair. One machine is in the table and the other on top.

View from the futon side of the room. I made the bulletin board on the wall as well. The Poppies on the cabinet are a decal from Ikea and the cabinet itself is a basic wardrobe from Home Depot. I use a little space heater to heat the room since its behind the garage so it has no central heat!

The door and window.

Detail of wall hanging by the door. (A repainted thrift store find)

Panorama shot of the whole room.

Thanks for sharing in my farewell to my lovely room! I get to enjoy it until January and then we'll be moving!  Cry Hopefully our new house will have a wonderful space to get crafty in!  Wink  Be blessed!

UPDATE: We have moved and my new studio is even more beautiful. I had a fit of insomnia last night which allowed me to put together some footage I took of my former studio into a little video tour of the place.
Click here to watch it on YouTube
23  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Boy's PJ's From a Thrifted Pattern on: November 05, 2009 12:31:38 PM

I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish these! I got the flannel for a steal at Joann Fabrics but I had been looking for weeks for a good child's pajama pattern with a collar and everything and couldn't find anything in the pattern books at fabric stores. Then I found this pattern at the thrift store a few weeks ago!

It was perfect! I'm on the look out for fabric that would make a good matching robe!

Its still big for my son but its better that I completed it before he could fit into it instead of making it after he'd outgrown the size right? I really enjoyed doing the collar to. I hadn't done a collar I think since my sewing class in college!

Thanks for looking! Be blessed! (And keep checking out your thrift store for patterns!)
24  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Circus Bear in a Fez Hat on: November 01, 2009 03:19:14 PM
This was my son's second Halloween and I wanted to make him something clever and handmade but still freaking adorable. After looking into fake fur prices compared to how much it would cost to just buy a bear costume, we went with the cheaper choice of purchasing the bear costume. But I made the vest and hat which makes him a Russian circus bear.

I made the vest and hat without using a pattern, which was scary but it worked out!

Some folks mistook him for a monkey when we went out trick or treating, but for the most part people go circus bear right away.

Thanks for looking!
25  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Ornaments for Advent Calendars Swap on: October 27, 2009 12:51:08 PM
So this may end up being a doozy of a swap but....
The first holiday season that my husband and I were married, I made an advent calendar out of one of those panels that are available around Christmas time. (Here's a link to a custom one done by Oh Frasson!)Every year we fill the pockets with candy but I've always wanted to put mini ornaments in each pocket, but coming up with 24 different ones has been the challenge for me.

Would anyone be interested in participating in a swap where you make a batch of 24 ornaments and send off 23 of them so that in the end we would each have a different ornament, including one we made for ourselves? Ideally we'd need 24 participants.

The ornaments would be really small since the pockets on advent calendars tend to be only about 2 inches by 2 inches. I'd still have to think of a way that this wouldn't cost anyone a bundle in shipping costs, and I have a few ideas that may work. But first would anyone (i.e. 23 folks) like to do something like this?
26  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Thrift Store Napkin Clutch on: September 16, 2009 06:33:39 PM

I found two napkins and this very interesting potholder/trivet thing at the thrift store a few weeks ago and immediately this little clutch popped into my head. So after a few weeks of thinking about it, I finally sat down and assembled it.

It is fully lined with some fabric from a thrift store pillowcase. The buttonholes are hand embroidered because I had one of those moments when you think you've had the best idea ever and only after executing it do you realize that you are a complete idiot. (I thought I could do the buttonholes all at once by just doing a buttonhole on my machine through both sides of the bag, but it resulted in the bag being sewn shut. Duh.) After ripping out the buttonhole I then hand satin stitched around the raw edges, and it actually looks very nice, especially with the fabric the napkins were made of.

It also has a structured bottom, and is just the right size to fit just a wallet and keys in. I think it turned out great. But here's the thing: This is one of those projects where I can't see it for what it is, because its been living in my head for so long as something I thought would be cute. But is it really cute?

Thanks for looking!
27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Mermaid Dress Makeover on: September 06, 2009 01:05:08 PM
A little while ago, when my friend was moving out of her house, she gave me a huge bag of clothing, lots of dresses and shirts and skirts, much of it I've worn all summer long. In that bag was this little mermaid dress.

I wore it a few times but the arms were too small and dug into my armpits every time I wore it. I love the fabric though and I really love the material of the dress.

So after a good bout of Project Runway for inspiration I gathered the dress and two other T-shirts and did this:

I made a cowl neck by cutting off the torso of one t-shirt and sewing it to a boat neck neckline I had cut into another t-shirt.

I also cut the sleeves off the pink T-shirt and hemmed them to make a sleeveless top. (With the cowl neck it makes it a bit warmer, so I had to balance out the heat!)

I sewed the pink T shirt to the top of the dress and added a strip of elastic at that seam so that the dress would pull in at the waist line.

I really ADORE this dress, it came out so well. And it is very comfortable!

Usually when I am experimenting with clothing reconstruction my results are shoddy at best, but lately I've been having a lot of good fortune with my recon projects. Its nice to see experience and skill paying off in that I can predict more accurately how a cut is going to affect the fall of the dress, or how to create more definition by adding elastic. And my stuff is looking less Holly Hobby as well and more wearable, which is very exciting!

Thanks for looking!
28  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / IBOL Needs Your Unwanted Supplies Postmarked by 9/7/09 on: August 31, 2009 01:41:06 PM
I did a quick search on Craftster and didn't find any posts that have mentioned this so I feel its important to spread the word!!!!

So recently in the blogosphere I learned about IBOL, which stands for Iraqi Bundles Of Love. An individual living in Iraq is asking for us crafters, who have supplies beyond our needs, to clean out our fabric, yarn, sewing and knitting supplies and send a bundle (or two or thee if you're a pack rat) over to Iraq, where such supplies are hard to come by.

To participate go to this website, and leave a comment anywhere on the site, make sure to include your email address when commenting and the admin of the site will email you the address. Go to the post office, pick up a large flat rate box and assemble a bundle. There is a list about what to send and not to send here and instructions on how to build a bundle are here.

You can also join IBOL on facebook for regular reminders and updates! (There is a deadline!)

There is also a very helpful FAQ that is worth reading! (Addressing if you do not live in the US and customs forms and the like)

This is a great opportunity to clean out your stash and to help our fellow creators in other parts of the world! Please join us!
29  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Heather Ross Mendocino Marmalade Baby Mix Tape Quilt on: August 16, 2009 12:23:55 PM
My best friend is having her second, a baby girl, due in September. I made a baby blanket for her first, a son and I wanted to make one for her daughter as well. I recently won the Oh Frasson Mix Tape Quilt pattern in a giveaway and I had been looking for ways to make her second special as well (since I know that can be hard) so I decided to actually give her a quilt. (This is my second lap size baby quilt. The first was for my own son.)

I backed it with pink minky so it would be nice and soft for her.

This is the best border job I think I have ever done. I'm too nervous to try free hand machine quilting and I was using a fussy fabric like minky for the back, so I decided to sew the back and quilt top right sides together and then turn it right side out. I was then very meticulous about pinning the sides so that everything stayed even and neat. I then top stitched several rows, each a different color and I LOVE how this looks.

I am making a coordinating set of gifts for her out of this fabric. I really hope she loves this quilt. Sorry for the crappy pictures, It is smoky outside today due to a nearby forest fire and I didn't want to get ash all over this beautiful quilt!

Thanks for looking!
30  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Heartbreaker on: August 07, 2009 02:07:07 PM
I've been working in hand dying toddler T's and oneies and I really love the colors that have been coming out of it. I especially love how the black comes out charcoal. I've also been experimenting with different kinds of applique over the years. Lately its been wool felt, I love how crisp it looks. Also, I have finally figured out how to make my own printed fabric.
Anyway, I am always in search of cute and unique clothes for boys ever since I found out I was having a boy. That boy is now 15 months old. This is my latest cute boy clothes creation using all the techniques listed above.

Thanks for looking!
Comments and Questions welcome and appreciated!
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