Monday, June 28, 2010

New Tutorials in the Works!

I have two projects on which I'm currently working: a tutorial for a peasant nightgown, and a tutorial for copying a purse/bag from Target.  I've done the video for each one, but as I'm a sewer and not a video producer, it takes a little time.  I think I need to recruit one of my genius-at-video-stuff daughters to edit.  If only I could draw them away from episode after episode of the past seasons of Gray's Anatomy . . .

The nightgown tutorial is closer to being finished.  I've used vintage sheets for fabric, because hey, what better fabric to use for a nightgown than a worn, soft sheet?

Here's a quick glance at the finished products --
The Peasant Nightgown


Let me just say here that I'd model these for you -- but I'm a Pastor's wife.  So the Pastor and my daughters are really the only ones who see me in my jammers.  I can tell you this:  I've been sleeping in the lighter print one, and I never want to take it off!

The Target Tote
I changed this one up a bit to make it even better.  It's really cute.

So I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

This Just In

I just found this on Grosgrain.  Have a look.

This particular dress is fabulous.  I hope she puts out a pattern for it soon, because I'd love to make it up.

The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

Be sure to enter.  You could win it!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Cool Flip Flops

Check out Gianny's cool DIY flip-flops.  How this girl does this with those nails -- well, let's just say that I have my acrylics cut short for a reason!  But she's a genius with using pliers to push a needle through the rubber of the shoe.  End result?  Gorgeous!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Never Fails

Rose, Bug, Barbie, JB, or Babydoll, doesn't matter, take your pick:
    "Mama, make me stuff.  Make me a dress."

The result:

Usually something like this.  Very cute sundress but it doesn't fit.  Very frustrating.

I wanted to surprise Bug with this and basically just whipped it up while she was at work, yesterday afternoon.

Bug is long waisted.  The pattern I used is vintage (as in "it was mine when I was her age"), and the bodice was cut to the waist.  So I shaved off about 3" from the waistline to make it more of an empire waist.

Bad idea.

First off, it hits about 2" above her waist but well below the empire line.  Secondly, she informed me that she looks terrible in empire waisted things.  (When did this happen?)

So the plan now is to cut the bodice shorter, add a contrasting lower bodice that will fall almost to her hips, and then re-attach the skirt.  A whole lotta trouble for something I was just going to whip up in an afternoon.

And by the way -- the print is one I got from Hobby Lobby summer before last.  It's chinese characters printed in white on a black background.  Bug loves all things Japanese, and it was close --

I'll post the finished dress when it's done.  And successfully on the Bug.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Presenting My New Best Friend . . .

. . . Sharon Connolly.  She's an Image Consultant.  She's not about sewing or home dec, she's about looking great.  And of course I sew because I want to look great, and moveover -- feel  great -- in what I sew.

I found this wonderful woman on YouTube while looking for makeup tips.  Yesterday, I turned 51, and I have struggled all my life with finding some kind of makeup product or tip or combination of the two to make my eyes look the way I want.  After watching probably 5 or 6 YouTube videos regarding the subject, I was ready to give up.  But then, I happened on Sharon.

She has several videos, but I have to share this one with you.  It's all about fit; the way pants fit, the way tops fit -- and we sewers care a LOT about how things fit.

So have a look and check her out on YouTube --

Enjoy --


Friday, June 11, 2010

Gotta Be Kidding Me

OK, just WHAT is this?

OK, there is a limit to what I would call fashion.  Is this what up-and-coming designers are doing these days?

Sorry, Andrea Katz Objects.  I think you can do a little better than this.  There is no way even the cutest, thinnest, most adorable young girl would be seen in this, let alone any of the rest of us.  The Laura Ashley version of this went out of style back in the 1990's.

Do you agree?  Have your say in a comment below.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Have I Told You About . . .

Pattern Rescue -- a wonderful site where you can send old patterns, get vintage and old patterns, and it's all free (you pay for shipping, but it's really cheap!) --

Check it out here --

Pattern Rescue


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finished Daybed

This only took about 6 hours total sewing time.  It was really easy.  Here's how I did it:

1.  Measure the bed and the pillows.  Buy fabric accordingly.  Use inches; it's easier to convert to yardage.  Remember to take into account the width of your fabric.  Buy zippers close to the length of the bottom edge of your pillows.  Buy piping if you like, or make your own from cording and/or bias tape or quilter's binding.  Both of these are packaged and can be unfolded and used.  I got double the yardage from one package of quilter's binding.

 2.  Cut out these pieces:  The top of the bed, the front piece of the bed, the two side pieces, and the back.  And then the fronts and backs of the pillows.  I used a piece of old sheet for the back piece because it doesn't show.  This saves on the fabric needed.

3.  Sew together the front piece, the side pieces, and the back pieces so you have a big circle.  Then add the piping to the top piece and sew the big circle piece to it. 

4.  Hem all the way around.

5.  Pillows, one at a time:  sew the zippers first.  Then sew the piping to one side, and then close them up by stitching all the way around.  Stitch from the side where you can see the line of stitching from the piping; that way you'll be sure to catch all the edges.  It also helps when you unzip it halfway before sewing around the edges -- it makes it much easier to turn right side out.

** The piping makes it look professionally done **

** The pleats are easy as well.  Email me if you'd like details on how to do those. **

That bolster pillow is just a bed pillow rolled up inside a circular casing. 

Here's the finished product:

Try a project like this.  It's easy sewing (lots of rectangles) and the payoff is great!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Patterns on Sale!

I got this email yesterday from Sewing

They have a couple of great features -- downloadable patterns and "make any pattern your size" -- check them out!  Sale ends today, so hurry --


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Hi, I'm Jenny and I'm a Cheapskate.

Surely there is a group I can join.


We need some kind of sofa/futon/thing-to-sit-on downstairs in the kids area.

Current situation:

Twin-sized metal trundle, twin-sized mattress on top, (turned sideways against the wall) salvaged king-sized headboard behind, sheet, some pillows. Generally a mess. Looks like a daybed gone wrong.


Slightly less of a mess.

So.  Possible solutions:

$100 futon at Target. It was too small.  Took it back.

$179 futon/sofabed at Target. Do I really want to spend $179?

Keep checking a currently fruitless search on Craigslist.  Uh, no.  Everything I can find is an hour away.


$30 of fabric at WalMart.

2 small bookcases @ $15.00 each, also from Wal-Mart.  These will go on the ends to form arms, sort of.

2 European pillows @10.00/ea from Big Lots.

I already had the two green pillows.

Total: $80. Cover the bed, cover the pillows, add throw pillows (ones I already have with fabric I already have).  I will probably also add either a couple of king-sized bed pillows behind the square ones -- or hopefully I can find a big long body pillow --  because I think it will be necessary to bring the back of the seating forward just a bit.  You know, just so your feet can still touch the floor when you sit down.


Decorator daybed/sofa -- with storage!  I'll post photos later when it's done.

: )


Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Done, Done, Done!

Time to sew!

I thought I'd give you a bit of a tour, so here you go -- you can also find this on YouTube on my channel, mwnjw.



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hurry Up! Hurry Up!

My patience wears thin.

The progress on the sewing studio/room goes S-L-O-W-L-Y.  Two things come to mind:  first off, where in the world did I get all this fabric?  Secondly, why would I actually BUY some of this stuff?  Today I kept rolling yardages up to put into cubbies, and every time I thought I'd finished the last plastic container, I'd find another one stuffed full of fabric.  Good grief.

I've filled a trash bag full of scraps that should have been done a long time ago.  I also made a relatively good-sized pile of fabric that is just ugly.  I think I may put it on Ebay and sell it for the cost of the listing and the shipping.  One woman's trash = another woman's treasure and all that.

I will give you a tour when it's finished.  As it is, I've spent about 3 days now digging through.  The end is in sight!  Hallalujah!