Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Doesn't everyone keep their plastic ziploc bags in the sewing/craft room?

I was at the tail end of cleaning up my accumulation of patterns and such when I had an epiphany.  I was about to make my fourth trip downstairs to get another ziploc bag to hold bits and pieces of cut patterns, directions, or fabric when I decided a box of bags should be IN the sewing room.

Now, there's only one box of these bags in the house which was in the kitchen where other people keep them.  However, I only occasionally use them there to store leftovers.  For that I can just say, "Honey, run upstairs and get me a ziploc bag, will ya."  To the inevitable whining that will ensue about keeping the bags where normal people do, I intend to respond with, "I get enough exercise shopping for fabric and running it through the machine.  What are you trying to do kill me?  Isn't there some sport on television that you should be watching when we're finished cleaning up here?"  The sports line is what will do it.  This man has been known to watch curling even before Stephen Colbert made it hip--well, as hip as curling can be.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sarong Swimsuit Cover

After the panty purse, it was time to do something I will actually use.  With my vacation around the corner, I finally made this sarong I found in a Sew Stylish magazine a while back.
It can be worn several ways.  Here are a couple more pics from the magazine:

The article also mentioned folding down the top edge before tying if you want it shorter which is nice with the contrasting fabrics or using it as a shawl.

Here's mine.  My usual victim model, Melissa, wasn't available, so this will have to do.
It looks much better on.  Unfortunately, I've not figured out how to take pics of myself in an outfit!  The photo doesn't do the material justice either, so I'm including a couple of close-ups.  It is a Simply Silky design from Joann's.

The sarong is made from two 40x64" rectangles of lightweight, drapable fabric.  You can see how the fabric is folded to 32 inches to cut the curve in the second pic above.  Then you just sew the two pieces right sides together around the edges leaving an opening to turn.  The seams on the one in the magazine seemed to fall better than mine.  You can see the slight puff that material has at the seams better in this photo:

My material didn't hang as well.  I decided to do a 1/4" top stitch all the way around which I like much better.  While I like the fabric, I wish I had more choices available locally.  I really need to get down to New York City to check out some of the garment district stores I've read about.  I'm a couple of hours away and have never made a fabric run. Anyone with fabric store suggestions please feel free to share with us in the comments!

Update:  For a change using snaps, check out this post

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Yeah, It's a Panty Purse

My husband's first reaction:  "Are you really gonna be whipping that out
of your purse?"  
How does one go from posting the elegant little Japanese knot bag to a panty bag in a matter of days?  It's Sandra of 's fault because she made some of these that were so freakin' cute I had to give it a try, too.

Look--all lined and everything!

Sandra also nicely directed me to the free pattern and tutorial.  It's in Chinese, but Google Translator translates well enough to get the idea.  If you've not done a lined, zippered bag before, check out a YouTube video tutorial or two.  That should be enough for anyone to give this a try.  I enlarged it to use with the 7" zipper on hand.

Before you get started, stop here to see Sandra's versions.  She has all kinds of little extras that make these even more special.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Do You Use Dryer Sheets to Clean Your Shower Doors??

I saw this idea on a blog and thought, "Yeah, maybe your shower doors, but my water is beyond hard.  No way that will work for me."  I usually have to use cleaners that require rubber gloves, bleach the color out of any clothes or towels within splatter-shot, and smell as though one should be advised to wear a gas mask and have the windows open.  I was desperate enough to give this dryer sheet thing a try.  On my first attempt I didn't even bother to take before pictures.  I was that sure it would not work.  It worked.

I took pics the second time I used them.  Here's the before:

And after:
Oh, no, that is not with the shower door open.

Look at this shine:
 This is what that area looked like before:

I have a certain amount of guilt because of the disposable factor with the the dryer sheets. I try not to use things that are disposable if I can avoid it.  I don't use dryer sheet for the laundry!  I had to "borrow" some of them from Melissa for my first try.  However, those strong chemicals can't be good for the environment either.  Another great reason to use the dryer sheets is that I don't have to worry about the strong cleansers corroding the caulk around the tub and the metal fixtures as the labels threaten will happen.  Avoiding leaks from worn caulk and extending the life of the fixtures is good for the environment, too.

The sheets work great on the sink and tub area easily cleaning off the tub ring, too.  One sheet goes a long way.  Melissa's were Bounce.  I bought Target's brand which worked just as well.

While I still don't like cleaning the bathrooms,  I don't  dread cleaning them anymore.  Try the dryer sheets if you haven't already.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Very Berry Handmade Giveaway

I've been doing a weekly sewing challenge this month with Sew Much 2 Luv which is about to come to an end.  It has been wonderful to have the encouragement to actually get some sewing projects completed, comments from other sewers about my projects, and, most of all, seeing all the projects of the other participants.  No housework getting done, but I'm so happy to be checking off  a few things on my long list of projects.

In search of more sewing encouragement, I stumbled upon the Very Berry Handmade Giveaway:  Resolved to Sew 2012.  The fabric for the giveaway is so beautiful, bright, and cheery!   There's even some crushed walnut shells for stuffing pin cushions.  I've steered away from making pin cushions because I like the rough grains in the manufactured ones.  Who knew you could get crushed walnut shells to stuff them?

Check it out and join in!  Just click on the link above or here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Newest Member of the Crew

That's Kelsey, Kiefer's girlfriend holding one of her Christmas presents.  His name is Cooper.  Doesn't he look sweet there?  Actually he is a little devil who runs around so much it has taken me this long to get a picture of him that doesn't look like this:
or this:
How does he move so fast that he looks like a ghost dog?

Here's the real Cooper:
So, how long does this puppy stage last???

He does sleep sometimes--kind of:
Oh, don't let that sweet little face fool you.  He's just worn out from attacking everyone and everything.

Japanese Knot Bag

After the dragon stuffie, I needed something nice and easy.  This pattern is from Helen Heath's blog, Show Your Workings, and it's free!
This is what it looks like opened:
You slide the longer loop handle through the shorter one.  You can put your hand through the longer loop and let it hang on your arm or wrist. The pattern at Helen site has pics of hers.   This was so quick and easy!  Check out the pattern.  It's such a cool little bag.