Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fabulous Fabric Shopping!

I love shoppng for fabric!  Who doesn't?!?!?  And as hard as it is to deny the great deals at large fabric stores, there is nothing like walking into an intimate quilt shop where everyone is more than happy to discuss your current project and help you with your selection.  My selection was wide-ranging, from girly-girl pink printed birds, to stark white, red, and black printed spoons and forks.  But I love them all.

I was buying fabric to make a lunch bag for myself and some reusable sandwich wraps and snack bags for some friends (which is why there is such a variety).

Another picture of my fabulous fabrics from Sew Inspired Quilt Shop in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Of course, when I got home, first things first...pre-wash and iron!  I always like the way that my thread catcher looks after I cut all the loose threads as I iron.


Where is your favorite place to go when you really want to have fun buying fabric?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Sewing Project

My friend Kate, who also works for a non-profit, asked if I could help her out.  She's been doing some of the muesum education programs in costume so the kids get a visual of one of the ways life was different in the past.  There was an 1820s style dress that was not quite right, so...sewing machine to the rescue!  One of the major problems (besides being a little big) was that the dress did not provide much modesty when it came to actively teaching children.

I dug out an old pattern for undergarments and accessories of the early 1800s from a box under my bed.  We picked out this little undergarment that would go under the dress and provide a bit of modest coverage.  Since it was going to be right next to the skin, I decided this called for some super soft Egyptian Cotton...Oooo.

Notice all the extra fabric?  I like to make sure I have plenty, I'm always scared I'll read the pattern wrong or mess it up and need more....plus, the scraps are so usefull!

Here is the finished product hanging in front of our nice blue living room walls!  It fits right up against the rib cage and buttons up the front (with buttons from the button jar, of course).  Since it cinches at the ribs, it can adjust to fit the wearer.

And this is how it looks under the dress (Kate was kind enough to allow a quick picture).  And we thought the look of a crisp white shirt under a low-cut dress was new!!!  I also added a draw string at the waist and the neckline so the dress can vary just a bit in size, plus added a pocket to one side so Kate can carry her keys with her.  Always great to help out a fellow non-profit employee.

Have you ever found the solution to a sewing problem hiding in a box under your bed?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A hidden advantage to craftyness...

I am constantly a girl on the hunt for a bargain, and often times that means finding something on the racks that is there because of a small problem making it undesirable to most, but perfect for us crafty types!  This weekend I spent a much needed mini-vacation in Providence....Boston is cool, and I love living close to Manhattan, but Providence will forever hold a special place in my heart as my favorite city in the North East.  While there, a few bargains found their way back to Connecticut.  One of them required a bit of crafty ingenuity to make them perfect. 

Although these mitts are wonderful, they came with a slight flaw....the severe lack of a button on the right mitt.  This is one reason I love being crafty.  Instead of having to pass up the amazing green pair (this was the only pair left) and having to go with the "safer" black pair that boasted two buttons, I was able to bring them home, dig through my button jar, and make them perfect once more!

This is the ever ellusive, "perfect crafter's bargain."  A dress, still being sold in the store at full price, but this particular one found its way to the bargain rack because it was missing one of the all-important buttons that held the strap to the dress.  Easy Fix!!!!  Again, to the button jar I went, and I emerged with an amazing dress at half the price, just because I was able to change out some missing buttons!

One of the best parts of our trip, however, (besides visiting friends, of course) was going to the Elmwood Diner in Providence and eating these AMAZING orange and cinnamon pancakes with sweet butter and real maple syrup.  I'll have to hunt down a recipe for these :-)

Have you ever found a hidden bargain because of your crafty abilities?