Thursday, August 26, 2010


I don't know about you but I love blowing bubbles and so do my kids. My daughter loves it when I do the bubble blowing and she gets to catch them.
She did become the little actress when we decided to take pictures.

We had lots of hot and humid days on Long Island this summer. Those are the best for bubbles. If it is too dry the bubbles pop quickly.

As the last days of summer vacation go by have some fun doing something fun and free!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Homemade Birthday Gift

Last month one of my daughter's friends celebrated her 6th birthday. I wanted to give her something special this year as a gift. I know they all love their toys and clothes are not high on the list. But this little friend loves "fashion" so I took the plunge and made this cute dress and handbag outfit.
The handbag pattern was from a fellow blogger It's called the buttercup bag. Very cute and easy to make. If you like it you can download the pattern here.

The dress is my version of a "pillowcase" dress. Instead of using a pillowcase I used 44/45 width cotton fabric. Took one of my daughters dresses for a length measurement. Cut straight across the fabric (folded selvage to selvage) the length I needed. Then I cut in from selvage up the length of fabric on an angle to give the dress some shape. (I followed the angle of one of her dresses again) And lastly I cut "J" shapes on either side of the top edge for the armholes.
The armholes were fine for size but I was trying to think of an easy way to hem the edges. I decided to just turn the fabric over twice - about "1/4 each time- and stitch it in place. I did clip the curves a bit on the first turn. Then I turn under the top edge (twice- 1/4" then 3/4") for a casing for the drawstring.

I did the side seams as french seams. Meaning I stitched the dress together wrong sides together first, turned and stitched again with right sides together. This leaves no raw edges.

Then I made the drawstring - 1 1/2 strips - 44/45"of a contrasting fabric cut 2" wide, ironed 1/2" edge down into center on both long and short sides, then folded together, ironed and top stitched.

The ruffle length was cut approximately 2 1/2 times the wide of the dress which was 44/45". So that was about 110" and the height of the strip was 4 1/2". I stitched the strips together, then I turned down one long edge 1/4" twice, then top stitched. Now you can "ruffle" the strip by your preferred method - I like to run a long stitch across the edge and pull the threads. Then I attach it to the dress spreading the ruffles evenly. And lastly I overlapped the seam with a zigzag stitch.

Hope this inspires you to create your own homemade gift for someone special!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Working with Laminates

Has anyone tried the new laminates that are out there? The Amy Butler ones are gorgeous! I made this large Metro backpack for one of my customers on I even lined it with a laminate- customer's idea. I don't know which was prettier - the lining or the outer laminate.

Sewing these laminates was pretty easy except for the urge to pin and iron- you cannot do either very well. Finger pressing worked pretty well and a press cloth on the wrong side with a dry iron also worked. As for the pin problem, I used paper clips. As long as you had the right sides together, the back of the laminate is cotton, the paper clips slide on easily. I also just used my regular walking foot on my sewing machine. A friend suggested a "teflon" foot- but I did not find it necessary.

Can't wait to make some more things. Have you made something from the laminates? I would love to hear about it. You can also go to Oilcloth Addict and find some great patterns. The laminates are similar in "touch & feel" but are vinyl coated cotton. They are great for lunch totes.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

My fellow blogger at Discovery the Me in Mommy has been kind and sent me this award. Now it is my turn to tell you 7 things about me and pass on the award to other bloggers. I must admit that listing 7 things about my self was not easy but here it goes:

  1. I live in a house that is 106 years old.
  2. I speak a second language - Ukrainian- but not very well at this point in my life.
  3. I love to sit at the beach and read a good book. Right now I'm reading "Eat, Pray, Love".
  4. I always wanted to be a professional photographer.
  5. I took piano lessons for 10 years when I was a child- not that I can play now.
  6. I own a cat named ZuZu named after "ZuZu's Petals" from the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" not the mechanical hamster toys.
  7. Ice Cream is my favorite dessert. I don't really have a favorite flavor- I love them all and that's probably why I'll never be thin!
And now the award goes to: