Being Tall Presents a Challenge

I am a pretty tall gal (5’11″). Thankfully, most stores have gotten the clue and offer tall inseams in most pants, but unfortunately in my search for some great pajamas or workout pants, I come home empty-handed each time. So, I usually just go for capri styles instead, since those won’t make me look like I’m preparing for a flood. I will admit though, I really was hoping for a pair of pajama pants that make me feel, well, normal.

When I started sewing, I decided to stock up on patterns at Hobby Lobby because they were 99 cents each! Included in that was this plus-sized pajamas pattern. I wanted to wait a while to attempt garments, but Sew Mama Sew gave me a jolt of motivation with their challenge this month: Make it, Wear it!

I was a little intimidated, but there is a big red word on the pattern packaging: EASY. I’m sure that means easy peasy to a pro, but I’m just hoping it means manageable to a newbie like myself.

I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and bought this pretty dark grey/blue floral pattern for my pants. This is gonna happen folks, and my seam ripper, once again, is at the ready!

Pajama Pants Fabric

Wish me luck!

Have you been intimidated by trying something new in a craft? What motivated you to finally go for it?

Finally Complete

A few months ago, I posted that I was going to Craft It Forward to 5 of my awesome readers.

I had plans to sew something for each person, but my sewing skills aren’t quite amazing enough to make anything impressive. It took me a few project trials before I stopped having massive sewing fails, and here’s what I came up with for each person: dish towels.

I’m really sorry to those who are getting these surprises late. I know I promised them by April 15th, but seriously, if I sent y’all something with the sewing skills I had then, you’d end up with torn scraps. This is a step up, or so I’d like to think.

I figure that everyone uses dish towels, and dishes suck. So, I thought some fun, fresh colors on a towel might make the chore a little less daunting. :)

I really enjoyed making these, and I hope you Crafting it Forward-ers love them.

More Dish Towels

Now, from what I can see, I have more than 5 readers on my little ol’ blog. If you aren’t someone who I’m sending these to, don’t despair. I’m hosting a giveaway for two of these bad boys on my food blog, so everyone has a chance to get a pair of these! Go head on over to the food blog and enter! :)

My Summer Goals

I know summer doesn’t officially start until June 21, however, most people identify the beginning of the summer season with Memorial Day.

Since that’s quickly approaching, I have some goals. The biggest one?

This.

The layout

Now, relax folks…don’t freak out. My machine hasn’t touched this yet! This is just fabric laid down on the carpet in the pattern I like. I know, the fabrics are not laid the same way…no worries, they’ll all face the right way when thread goes through the needle. :)

I’m going to admit I’m intimdated by this quilt. It’s a level 2 project in my S.E.W book, so I shouldn’t be so intimidated, but the word quilt is intimidating. They are so pretty and just perfect looking. Can I really do this? I surely hope so. My seam ripper is on stand-by.

I found all of these fabrics at Hobby Lobby for about $4.50/yard, which isn’t too shabby.

I have a serious addiction to that store and their remnant bin, by the way.

The fabrics

I can’t wait to see this project done.

No worries, I’ll share my other summer goals with you. I just need to save it for another post. :)

Our First Anniversary: Part 1 – His Gift

One year ago yesterday, I married my husband.

I can’t believe how fast the year flew by. I remember sending our invitations, shopping for dresses and the jewelry making adventures during planning.

For my gift to the hubs, I had to make it. I just couldn’t avoid crafts for this. For crying out loud, the first year gift’s tradition is paper. Doesn’t that scream craft me?!

Anywho, I went to Hobby Lobby, and picked up scrapbook paper (in our wedding colors and some lovey dovey paper prints) with a candy jar. I was on a mission.

The idea? To show the hubs that it’s the small things that matter. Tiny, small favors that brighten the day. I wrote down 52 small favors to do for my husband (one each week this year). These favors range from washing his car to cooking up his favorite meal to giving him “me” days in the house.

This week, he picked the one where I say I’ll do all the dishes this week. Ack!

Here are the 52 small favors all folded up.

Anniversary Gift

I know, duh. Pick one every week…hubs knows what he’s doing, but I couldn’t help it. I had to decorate the lid somehow.

Anniversary Gift

I wrote on the side “It’s the small things..”. Originally, I actually wrote “All the small things”, because that darn Blink 182 song was not getting out of my head. Thank goodness paint pen just scratches off.  Ugh…

Anniversary Gift

I wanted to wrap it up fairly special, so I put the jar in a box filled with teal paper and wrapped it, adding a cute tag that I won from this Etsy seller. I’m a little sad that this seller doesn’t have these gift tags listed anymore. They are gosh darned cute!

Anniversary Gift

The verdict? He loved it!

The hubs made me a cute coupon book with similar ideas, but of course, relating to things I would appreciate. :) I’m really excited about it!

Next year’s anniversary gift theme is cotton. That’s definitely another one that screams crafts to me! Hopefully, my sewing skills will be more up to par next year. :)

Dressing up the dSLR

I’ve been wanting a dSLR camera for quite some time now. The only thing holding me back was partially price, trying to get my car paid off  ASAP (which will be done next month YAY!) and fear of regretting a splurge. I have trouble making splurges, because I feel like I don’t really NEED them and the money could be better spent. I wrote about my issue with clothing purchases before, so you can understand where I’m coming from here.

Cheap alert: I’m wearing a 3 year old blouse today and work pants with a partially broken zipper. I’m contemplating ripping the zipper out and just replacing the zipper for 2 bucks haha!

Anyway, come to find out, Target had my beloved Canon XSi on clearance for $454. I’ve been budgeting and saving for a $600 camera, so this was a welcome surprise. I bought it.

With my newly developing sewing skills, I decided to make a strap cover for it. I followed this tutorial, minus all that quilting. The more cutting required, the more I mess up it seems.

Of course, it didn’t turn out perfect, since it’s slightly a little too short. However, it’s comfy and that’s all I care about! Plus, using scrap fabric and thread I own, it was nearly free! I did purchase $3 worth of fusible fleece at Hobby Lobby, but that was 1/2 yard….barely used much of that at all!

Pardon the iPhone pic and my stinky mobile Photoshop skills.

Canon XSi with new strap cover

Now, to work on finishing those Craft It Forward projects that I promised the 5 winners a month ago…sorry gals!

Dog Bandana

So, the sewing machine and I have maintained a pretty healthy and slow relationship. I try to keep my projects simple, because I really hate putting so much time into a project, only to have a flop.

When I took Millie to the groomers for the first time, I asked for them to put a bandana on her. That bandana was ::gulp:: $7. Seriously…

So I thought, heck, I could TOTALLY sew something like this. The bandana had a slot at the top for the collar to slide in, which is pretty genius.

To not be totally copycat-ish, I added my own twist and made it reversible. Two looks in one! :) And…the cost? Not $7….Free with scrap fabrics!

Bandana

And here’s Millie showing it off.

Side 1 bandanna

Side 2 bandanna

Way cute…and I think I will be making many more bandanas in my future!

Making Progress

Since it’s craft month, I’m determined to make my sewing skills much better! After my giant fail with the tote bag, I decided to move on to do another project. I decided to make the box bag. I was completely confused at first, because I’m a visual person and I needed a video or something to get this right the first time. Since there was no video, there was a lot of seam ripping, random outbursts and in the end, a box bag that has crooked corners. Oh well, don’t judge me.

See for yourself…

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Another view…

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I think my enemy was my (way too thick) interfacing, and maybe mixed with some impatience and a cute puppy who wanted to play, towards the end.  Next time, I’ll know to not buy it out of a pack at Hobby Lobby. Rather, go to a fabric store and get a feel for different interfacing.

I will say, I’m pretty proud that I sewed in my first zipper! I feel pretty darn cool about that!

Oh, and if you need zippers, don’t buy them at a fabric store. They are like $2 each, when you can buy a bunch on Etsy for way cheaper. I purchased from this seller. :)

Here’s a future project (as in, once I can sew straight lines with much more confidence) spoiler: I cut 30 squares for a beginner’s quilt, found in S.E.W. Everything Workshop. This is the book that is sort of teaching me most of the basics. I recommend it…great patterns and ideas in there!

Anyway, I bought the fabrics at Hobby Lobby…aren’t they cute? :)

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How is National Craft month going for you?

Happy Craft Month!

March is a great month! I get to have my birthday (gotta love birthday freebies haha), Spring starts and I just found out it’s National Craft month! Holler! So, I’m going to write a post about crafty stuff. :)

Crafting It Forward

As much as I hate to do this, I promised to craft it forward to 5 readers, and two people never got back to me after I emailed them. :( So, I’m choosing two people again!

Random.org chose Teale and craftysmurfette!! Congrats ladies! I’ll be emailing you two shortly to get your addresses and some basic information from you two!

Sewing

So, uhm, sewing is pretty fun but HARD. I tried to make a tote bag that was 12×14 and well, ended up with something way smaller because I thought I could cut straight lines with scissors. I realized a little too late that the rotary cutter would be my BFF. Erg..

Check this out. It’s terrible…I’m pretty sure I’m starting over on a new project because I’m impatient. LOL! It was cheap fabric anyway…

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Look at how much I stink..I messed up sewing the bias tape flush to the fabric. Boo…I pinned it too. The light pink stuff is supposed to cover the zigzags on the blue fabric, in case you were like me two months ago and are thinking bias tape what?

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So, I’m moving onto another project. I don’t need another tote bag anyway…psh. Maybe I’ll put yarn in it for knitting projects.

Not craft related, but I think my dog is seriously a ham. She poses like a model for the camera….how can you resist those eyes??

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Yummy sewing inspiration

I tend to get slightly obsessed when I start a new hobby. I’ve purchased yards of cute fabric and tons of fat quarters already. I’ve only sewn two things: the clutch and another bag (post coming soon on that). It’s pretty crazy.

Sewing is so practical though. It’s a hobby I can justify for, easily. I can hem our pants, which saves money, sew pillows  for the couch in fabrics that are yummy, PJ pants that are long enough for my legs, etc. It’s just easy to justify spending time on, because the things you can make are very useful for everyday life!

I find myself drooling over free online patterns and things in Etsy shops, and making lists of what I want to make next. I tend to find most of my inspiration via Google, but lately, I’ve started to look into this site.

CraftGawker is for ANY craft project. Basically, if you take nice pictures, unlike me, you submit your picture to CraftGawker and if they like your picture, they put it on their site. Then, craft junkies like me click the picture and are sent to the source of the picture: whether it be a tutorial (hopefully) or Etsy link (blah..I don’t wanna buy your craft, I wanna make it! I know, so selfish and cheap!). :) It’s very neato-mosquito if you ask me.

At the bottom of the site, there are categories, so you can go specifically to knitting projects, bags, jewelry, etc. I love it.

Here’s some sewing things that I’ve taken a liking to lately. These are from CraftGawker and multiple sewing blogs. :)

Project

Project

Project

Project

I mean, seriously, how awesome are all of these ideas? There are tons more, but these are my favorites. :)

I also have an ultimate sewing goal in mind, which I’ve been waiting YEARS to finally do, after seeing a friend buy one for (gulp) $300 from someone who made it for her. Big savings if I can DIY, but I’ll keep you hanging and let you know about that project in another post. :)

My first Hancock’s experience..

Let’s just preface this with the fact that I have had great experiences at most craft stores. I’m not a bitter store-hating person, as it might seem on my Twitter. I am a very happy Michael’s/Hobby Lobby/JoAnn’s customer.

I decided to take advantage of a HUGE warehouse sale at Hancock’s. 50% off notions, 40% off buttons, cheap ass fabric, etc. So, I went after work on Thursday with my $30 fun money budget in mind. All I wanted were a few things anyway, and I wanted to scope out another fabric store. Pretty exciting things going on in my life right now, eh?

I walked in excited as a kid on his birthday, and walked out pissed off and frustrated. Granted this was after a workday and my patience is very thin after work, but really, I was ready to kick someone in that store.

First, I started in the notions, which are sewing accessories, if you didn’t know, like me. Grabbed some pins, snaps and a yardstick. It said the whole wall was notions and it was 50% off. I’m a new sewer, so I don’t know what’s a notion and what’s not. I just simply believe the sign.

Then, I grab a few buttons for some projects coming up, and they have NO sign on the buttons aisle (can you believe there is a WHOLE aisle of nothing but buttons?), but the website says 40% off in store. I have the email on my iPhone ready, just in case issues arise.

Here comes the fun: fabric. I wanted to buy some FELT for a project that I have (it’s a secret until it’s done), but my dumb brain gravitates towards FLEECE and grabs up a few bolts. I tell the lady I want 1/4 yd. of each color of FELT. She says it’s FLEECE. I finally make the connection…d’oh! I needed FELT, and it wasn’t on sale. Embarrassed..

In the back of my mind, I’m hoping to make a quilt soon. They just so happened to have quilter’s cotton for $2/yd. Great…so I find the little section of quilter’s cotton. It looks like plain old fabric. Nothing fancy, so I grab a beige one and have her cut 3 yds. of it. No big deal.

I proceed to the check-out counter when an older lady in front of me with this cushy attitude tells the cashier she wants to order some ugly ass bird buttons. They looked like crows (where are you going to use CROW buttons??). The cashier explained the policy, gave her an order form to fill out and told her to do that while she checks me out. I knew this wasn’t gonna be pretty, because I am a price watcher. If the price is wrong, I will speak up, and I know price adjustments tend to take longer.

Lucky for crow buttons lady, we had quite a few of those. The snaps rang up full price, the buttons rang up correctly and then the quilter’s cotton: rang up $15. WTF??? I told the lady that it was quilter’s cotton and she said uhm, no it’s not. I insisted that it was in the spot with the rest (looked as cheap as the rest), and she told me ANY sewer would KNOW that quilter’s cotton is NOT this! Embarrassed and pretty pissed that she made that comment…I’m a newbie. :(

At this point, the old lady is pissed off at my price corrections, bangs her hands on the counter and sighs LOUDLY. It took every ounce of me not to tell her something about her ugly ass crow buttons. It’s not my fault that the fabric was in the wrong spot. I know I should have made sure the regular price matched the rest, in hindsight. It just looked as cheap as the rest of the colors! However, I was TOTALLY NOT paying $15 for crappy cotton. I’m new at this sewing thing, but I know $5 a yard is ridiculous for that stuff. So, she put it in the remnants stack for the lady with the fabrics to deal with. I hated to do that, but honestly, that is not my fault, and I’m sure it will sit in the remnants pile for a long time, eventually being cheaper than $6. Oh well…

At this time, I present the cashier with a 10% off purchase coupon that I got from being a “fan” of Hancock’s on Facebook. She looks at the print-out and asked me where I got it. I politely explained, and the cashier found it kind of cool. I’m sure not many Facebook-ers shop there, just looking at the demographic of the shoppers that were there at the time. (Lots of people who looked like crow buttons lady…)

After I check-out, the cashier informs me of a premier club that I should join. I love discount clubs, so I ask for the form. Another HUGE sigh from crow buttons lady. Just to spite this crow buttons lady, I filled out the form right then and there. I should have taken my sweet time too. I know, I’m a bitch.

So, after spending half of my fun money for the week, I have some neat-o sewing stuff to add to the collection. I can’t wait to finish cleaning house so I can get to my machine! :)