Today just happens to be the 27th anniversary of the day I said "I do" to my sweet husband. There's a lot of life happening right now, so we're going to keep the day low key, but it's still the best decision I've ever made and deserves some celebrating…Read more
This week I got a good start on a project that isn't due until September, and another that I don't need until early August. Sounds pretty productive, right? The dark side of my little story is that I worked on those in order to completely avoid several other things that I need to get done very soon. Procrastinators unite…Read more
I've been trying not to talk about it ALL the time, but I can't hold it in any longer. My husband and I leave in 5 days to go visit our son in Italy again! He has some leave he can take while we're there, so the three of us are also taking a trip to see Scotland, Ireland and England for a week. I still have a couple of things to make before I go, so I'm trying to stay focused, but I'm so excited...Read more
I made myself a pair of pajamas this week. More accurately, I made some shorts and embellished a t-shirt. I found some flannel I really liked, and made an iron-on for the shirt to match. I'm sad to say, I think it's my last attempt. It seems like no matter what I do, they either end up too big or too small. This time they're a little big, although I'm going to leave them alone because I'm afraid of making them worse. Shouldn't pajama bottoms be the easiest thing in the world to make? Maybe I'm too picky. I guess I don't need to explain why I don't make my own clothes...Read more
There are a few holidays that are a little difficult to know what to do with once you're empty nesters like we are, but not grandparents yet. Halloween comes to mind. Easter is another. I have zero excuse to dye eggs or make Easter baskets. I don't mean for that to sound so sad, because I know one day there will be little ones around again. The real issue is, what do we do then? We're actually thinking about some yard work, and maybe catching up on a couple of movies. I might even squeeze in a little time on a special quilt I'm making. My new Easter tradition = sewing...Read more
It's spring, it's spring, it's spring!!! I mean, oh, hey, it's spring or whatever. I can't pretend I'm not excited. It's been a weird winter, and I'm done with it. One of the first signs of the end is the hawks cruising through the valley behind our house, and since I spotted the first one a few days ago I'm calling it. What's the thing that means spring is here for you (besides the calendar)...Read more
I spent an entire day this week swapping out the little device that provides me with internet access. Not a different plan or provider, just the thing that throws out the wifi. It works great, but nothing that involves electronics is ever simple in my experience. By the time I was done updating all the gadgets with the new password, all I could think was "Can't I just go SEW something???"...Read more
Our boy is home!!! I don't know exactly where I am as you read this, but I can guarantee it's probably either following him around or in the kitchen making some of his favorite foods. It's been nearly a year and a half since he has set foot in this house. We couldn't be prouder of him and his time spent serving our country, but we're beyond thrilled to have him back for a whole month...Read more
After nearly a year and a half on the other side of the Atlantic, my son is finally coming home for a visit this week! We joked that we'd made a reservation at an Italian restaurant for dinner (knowing he's looking forward to enjoying some non-Italian food while he's here). He said the problem now isn't that he's tired of it, it's that it isn't authentic Italian food here. I think my boy has acclimated...Read more
My daughter's birthday was a few days ago, so we went out and spent the day shopping at the mall, something neither of us do often. Times have really changed, because her biggest purchases were made at the book store, while mine was the candle shop. Not a piece of clothing or pair of shoes between us. In fact, the one thing we both really liked and considered buying was something we decided we could make ourselves, and we talked about heading off to the fabric store...Read more
This Stylish Wraps Sewing Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori has been on my desk for a while now. I love this one, in fact, it's probably one of my favorite books I've received from Tuttle Publishing. But, I couldn't help but think of fall every time I looked through it, so waiting until September to review it just felt right...Read more
I can almost guarantee that the whole Christmas in July thing was invented by a maker. I found myself in the fabric store last week, buying holiday prints. I mentioned how early it felt, but the store employee who was cutting it pointed out that if I waited even another couple of weeks all the cutest would be gone. And you can bet I've been in my sewing room this week, turning those same prints into holiday vendor aprons...Read more
Summer seems to have arrived while we were gone. We're still having some cloudy days, but it looks like the deluge of rain we've been suffering through has passed. I'm so ready for nice weather. We have a camping trip booked for July, and I'm so excited because I haven't been in about 4 years! Bring on the s'mores and mosquitoes...Read more
Yesterday was my birthday. Since I'm still in Italy, but writing this ahead of time, I have to assume it was pretty amazing! There's also Mother's Day coming up this weekend. Hopefully you have some fun plans, either for yourself or to celebrate a mom in your life!
This post contains affiliate links.
If your sweet little ones need something pretty to wear this weekend, Violette Field Threads has one you can whip up fairly quickly. It has all the ruffles and lace that are so popular right now.
Aren't these flower pot cookies from The Gunny Sack adorable? If you have some skill at making frosting roses, they can be even more edible.
So, a cupcake and a mini cake are really only a little different in shape, but tell me this doesn't look so much more fancy! In my research (okay, honestly just mini cake stalking) I found there are lots of ways to make these. Some use actual, legit small pans, while others are made in clean, empty canned-food cans. The Kitchen McCabe here used little mason jars!
You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!
Head over to Pinterest and search "How to wear a blanket scarf." Go ahead, I'll wait. Did you see all the different ways you can tie, drape, fold and wrap them? It's like a hug made of plaid. For some reason, with a drawer stuffed full of scarves, I did not have a single one of these in my wardrobe. Fixed that, and I'll show you how. With a coupon from a big box fabric store, I was able to make this for around $10.
These almost always seem to be plaid. You won't find me complaining because it's one of my favorite patterns, but if it's not your thing you could certainly make one from a print or solid of your choice. The secret is the type of fabric. You typically want a flannel, but the design should be woven, rather than printed. Woven design fabric looks the same on both sides, because the threads are colored, then woven. Printed fabric is only good on one side, because the fabric is woven first, then printed with the design. You'll often have better luck finding woven in the apparel fabrics department.
I'd recommend at least 2 yards of 42 – 44" wide fabric for this project, and more if you'd like it fuller and longer. Mine is actually just under 2 yards because I bought what was left on a bolt.
Trim all of the edges, including completely removing the selvedge on the long edges. This is where it's especially nice to use plaid, because you can just cut following the lines in the pattern.
With some fabrics, it's difficult to tell if you've removed the entire selvedge. An easy way to figure it out is to pull away a thread from the corner. If it unravels, you're good.
Stitch all the way around the scarf at the distance equal to the length you'd like your fringe. Pivot at the corners. I started with 2", but realized the insanity of that after I'd started and added a second row of stitching at 1". You can't see the first row unless you're looking for it. I think 2" would have taken away too much of the scarf anyway, and 1" looks perfect.
Now for the fun part. Start pulling away the threads at the edge of one side of your scarf. Using the tip of a pin is helpful for getting the thread started. This is going to seem really easy for the first few. After that, the edge of the fringe starts to get a little fuzzy. That's a good thing, because it's what gives your fringe dimension, but it tends to tangle and make it difficult to pull the threads out.
To combat this, lay the scarf out on a table with the edge you want to fringe in front of you. Pull the end of a thread loose on your right corner. Make sure it's only one thread, and that it's the NEXT thread. It's tempting to try to do multiples at a time, but it will just end in frustration.
Hold that thread with your right hand. With your left hand, gently push the fabric down the thread to the left in a gathering motion.
Keep pushing the gathers toward your left until you feel the left end of the thread come loose. After that, you should be able to finish pulling the thread out to your right. If your thread breaks, track it down and finish removing it before moving on to the next one.
It took me three sides to figure out this technique worked best. It totalled about 1 1/2 hours to fringe the entire scarf, but that last side was much faster than the others, and it was one of the longest. I'm sure I could do this in under an hour now.
Stop pulling threads when you reach your stitching line. This is what I had left at the end. See how the threads at the top are longer and smoother? Those are from that last side.
I can see why they call this a blanket scarf.
One of the things I love about these is that there are SO many different ways you can wear them.
Messy is where it's at.
Or a little more refined, maybe with a belt. Flexibility is where it's at?
This, with a jacket.
I feel like this would be the perfect accessory to my coffee cup. Any coffee cup.
Next up, red and black buffalo check, just as soon as I find some!
I'm counting down to a BIG vacation. The biggest my husband and I have ever taken without kids. We're celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this month, and we decided a long time ago that it deserved a party with style. We're leaving Oregon the day after Father's Day headed first to sunny Florida. After spending almost a week acting like big kids at Disney World, we're hopping a cruise ship and sailing around the Caribbean. The day of our actual anniversary, we’ll be zip lining above the jungle in Honduras. I probably don’t need to tell you, I am beyond excited. My husband has been getting the daily announcement of how many days are left until we leave for at least a couple of weeks. FYI, today is 12. During a recent trip to Costco, my husband pointed out a rack of maxi dresses. He knew I was still on the hunt for a casual dress, and they had one in a print he thought I’d like. We both agreed the braided detail on the top was a nice touch, but since Costco has no dressing rooms, I was afraid to take the chance it wouldn’t fit. We’re regular Costco shoppers, so my husband pointed out I could easily return it if it didn’t work out. For $17, I decided to risk it.
Well, as much as I liked it on the rack, and laying on my bedroom floor, this dress did not look good on me. The size was fine, but it hung weird around my middle and hips. I loved the top though. My first instinct was to take it back, but then I had a thought. The price of the dress would have been reasonable if it was only a top, so would I really be out anything if I just cut it shorter? And what if I could make something from the bottom? I’ve chopped up plenty of old clothes, but could I really refashion something brand new? There was no stopping that train once it left the station. To the scissors!
Because I don’t swim, I had to buy a swimsuit for this trip, which I don’t know if I’ll even end up wearing, but it’s mine now. I love the cut of the top, and thought the same shape might work well for my refashion.
I started by measuring where to cut for the lowest point on the hem of the top and cutting straight across.
Then I folded the top in half and used the swimsuit top as a guide to cut the angle.
After that it was simply a matter of rolling the hem and stitching it. I love this top, and I especially like how the angle at the bottom breaks up the horizontal stripes, making it more becoming to my shape.
Now, what about the rest of that fabric? I wasn’t sure about a skirt, because of those same horizontal stripes. I slipped it on and was surprised to realize that with a different top I actually liked them. As it was though, it would have been a bit long for my short legs. I measured it next to a skirt I already had that was a good length, and leaving enough for a wide casing to accommodate the wide elastic I wanted to use, I cut off a bit more.
Since the bottom was already hemmed, all I had to do was fold the top over and stitch it down, leaving an opening to insert the elastic.
I fed the elastic through, adjusted it until it fit and stitched the ends together.
I stitched the casing closed, and I had a skirt. This will be perfect for summer.
Remember that strip I cut from the top of the skirt to shorten it? Don’t think for a moment I let that go to waste!
I cut it apart at one seam, leaving the other in place. I folded it right sides together and stitched the long edge, leaving an opening to turn it. I stitched the two ends at an angle, and trimmed away the excess.
I turned it right side out through the opening.
All I had to do after that was press it and hand stitch that opening closed. That left me with a cute scarf I can tie around my head, ponytail or neck! The print is different on each side, so I actually have two different looks available.
In the end, I think this may have been one of my best Costco purchases ever. Seventeen dollars for all of this feels like a steal!
I’m here today with a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. This latest book from Tuttle Publishing, Stylish Remakes by Violette Room, is quite a departure from the sewing books I’ve reviewed from them in the past. For one, the author is not a single person, but a Japanese clothing brand specializing in comfortable, everyday but stylish clothes for women. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a sewing book by a brand before, but I do like the idea, especially since the focus is on ways to repurpose and restyle items you may already have in your closet.
Some of the remakes are a little unconventional, like the two sweatshirts cut in half and sewn together to make one giant sweatshirt. I also thought the tops sewn to skirts were odd, as they looked the same as if you wore the two together, while still having the option of wearing them individually. However, there were a few things in the book that I thought were really cute.
This combination of a t-shirt and tank is a clever way to salvage one or two things that may have shrunk up too short. You can even keep the graphics on the T. The sweetheart styling on the front is also a nice touch.
I would wear this Jacket with Gathered Waist. It’s actually made from a men’s flannel shirt, but I love the girly twist the cinched waist adds. They also tweaked the sleeves to create a more feminine line. My husband should probably keep one eye on his closet.
I thought this little girl’s outfit made from bandanas was pretty adorable, although I wish they would have photographed it in a way you could see more of it. I’m kind of intrigued by the adult dress made entirely of bandanas as well.
The instructions are clear and illustrated well. The few patterns that are needed are printed directly in the book.
I’ll admit, most of this book is not for me. The tone is young and trendy. However, I think this would be a fantastic gift for a teen or pre-teen with an interest in clothing construction, design or repurposing. Most of the projects are very appropriate for beginners, and some are exceptionally simple. It’s the kind of book where a project can be adapted or altered easily, which encourages creativity. Always a good thing!
I’m here today to a book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing. They have provided me with the book in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own. This post also contains affiliate links. I have a confession to make. I received She Wears the Pants: Easy Sew-it-Yourself Fashion with an Edgy Urban Style by Yuko Takada from Tuttle months ago. I kept putting off my review because, to be honest, I wasn’t excited at all about sewing pants. It’s hard enough for me to buy pants, let alone make them, with my mismatched hip-to-waist ratio and my legs that have never been skinny, even when the rest of me was. I kept putting it aside until, finally, I forgot I had it. I noticed it wedged between some other books on my desk last week and figured I better bite the bullet.
Well, I owe Tuttle and the author an apology. Not only for my procrastinating, but for assuming I knew what the book was about based on the title. In my defense, the model on the front IS wearing pants. However, when I opened it up, it’s not about pants at all. The title reference is to the fact that the garments inside were inspired by menswear. They are definitely urban, but there are a few things I could see myself wearing.
I think this Jumper Skirt is cute.
This Top with Epaulets, from the front cover, looks like something just about anyone could wear.
I love this Fleece Jacket. This would be a great fall-into-winter piece.
Here’s something I’ve never heard of. Are you familiar with Tippets? They seem to be an added collar, sometimes with suspenders, and look like they could be a great addition to the right outfit.
With Tuttle books, you can expect a thorough description of how the patterns work, sizing and which materials are appropriate. Each author handles them a bit differently, but it’s always clear what to do next.
This book does a good job of illustrating the steps to making a garment, which I always appreciate, especially those with a higher difficulty level.
The complete patterns are provided in an envelope at the back of the book. You’ll need to trace them to keep each piece intact, but that’s a good practice anyway so the original remains usable.
I was pleasantly surprised by She Wears the Pants. The garments could be dressed up or down, and there are things appropriate for a wide range of sizes, ages and style preferences. Now I wish I would have cracked that cover much sooner!
Do you remember a time when denim wasn’t in everyone’s closet? Since their rise to popularity in the 50’s, the styles and colors of jeans, jackets and skirts have varied, but they never disappear. I’m personally trying to work a few non-denim items into my wardrobe to break up my daily jeans routine, but I’ve noticed an upsurge in denim for decorating lately as well. I thought I’d go ahead and embrace it and introduce you to a few projects that celebrate the blue in our red, white and blue.
I’ve seen lots of these denim pocket organizers, but what I really like about this one from Sisters of the Wild West is the use of both big and small pockets.
I know these cute cutoffs from Make It and Love It are meant for little girls, but I think with the right fabric I could pull it off.
Don’t miss the first two words in the title of this project from I Love to Create: No Sew Denim Mini Bag.
This denim wedding dress from Bella Vittoria on Etsy is a bold choice, but perfect for a country wedding.
When you cut up old jeans for a project, sometimes it’s difficult to find a good use for the seams. Start saving them up for this Flat Felled Seam Denim Bag from Penny Rugs and More.
I love all of these denim pillows from Ashbee Design, but that ampersand might be my favorite.
Get the little ones sporting some denim early with these adorable bibs from Thimbly Things.
There’s not an actual tutorial for this top from Of Dreams and Seams, but I thought it was just to impressive not to share.
I don’t think you’d guess it from the photo, but this quilt from I Quilt for Fun is made from recycled jeans. The sashing really makes it beautiful!
You can even work a little denim into your jewelry, like this necklace from Bubbly Nature Creations.
I love curating my Friday Favorites each week, and I want to make sure that the talented people who have created these projects are fully acknowledged for their work. Before you pin or share, please click through the link or photo to the originating website. You can also find all the projects each week on my Friday Favorites Pinterest board. Thank you!