Author Archives: Michelle

Juice Pouch Bag

I was playing around with sewing some of the extra juice pouches and came up with a handy little tote.

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I am working on different ways to sew these things. They do not fold well and must be stitched wrong sides together.

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The inside isn’t lined, but I think it still looks neat.

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I also would love to explore different binding/bias tape materials. This was plain old black double fold bias tape for the edges, and single fold blue bias tape for the middle.

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Perfect for Teacher gifts. You know, when they want to carry around a bunch of oranges and apples.

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I think I am addicted to sewing these pouches! It isn’t easy, but it sure is fun figuring it out.

What unusual recycled materials have you sewn with lately?

What is around our home

Yesterday the temperature hit somewhere in the 70’s (F), which around these parts, feels like Summer! So I took my camera to see what was blooming around our yard in all that glorious warmth.

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We planted a vegetable garden this year for the first time. Tiny little sprouts of promise are out there right now. veggies3

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Which reminds me that we need to do a little thinning.

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Then I came inside and washed 90 juice pouches! Even if you don’t drink juice pouch drinks (which my kids don’t), there are plenty to be found. We asked around and got some from Falafel’s school, and from the camp at my husband’s work. We will even have leftovers, so that I can play around with them! Eeeeeeee!

What is around YOUR house right now?

Juice Pouch Duct Tape Wallet

We are in the final weeks of school for this year, and there are quite a few activities packed in. One big one is “Market Day”. This is where the kids have to make something to trade with other kids. Falafel had to make a craft based on a fact she found out about her assigned state (which is Florida).

We looked up different fruit related crafts and she decided that a juice pouch duct tape wallet sounded like fun!

I found a great tutorial here.

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There is even a pocket on the back.

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I think these would even make great party favors/crafts. The only time consuming part is cutting the different lengths of tape, and then halving them. Other than that, it is a really fast and easy project.

Now just to make 23 more. Wish us luck!

My very first swimsuit

I sewed up my very first swimsuit, The Coco Cay Color block Tankini by Peek-a-Boo Pattern shop.

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*affiliate link*

I am still getting to know The Contessa. I make myself sew all knits on her because she has some awesome knit stitches. BUT I am very much still learning it all. With that said, this suit did not come out perfect. And that is OK. I am showing you anyway. Why not share the learning process?

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It is most definitely wearable, but there are places that I could have been more consistent. I also didn’t hem it. I want to master the double needle (which I have never used) before I tackle that. Good thing this swimwear will not fray, so no rush.

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You can see here where I didn’t pull the elastic tight enough in the shoulders, and a little too tight around her shoulder blades.

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Overall, though, it is very similar to sewing a unitard (which I have sewn here and here).

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She does love it in all it’s sparkly purpleness.

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I do love Amy’s patterns. They are so easy to follow and she has so very many to choose from. I will be sewing this one up again.

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Have you ever sewn a swimsuit before?

Recycled mini vintage mannequin

Recently, I found this fun and clever project over at Adirondack Girl@ Heart, and just HAD to make one of my own.

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Oh my wow. There are so many variations you could make. I chose to make a Steam-punk-esque mini mannequin.

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I used a dishwashing liquid bottle, old pages from a book, a brown paper bag, an old doll stand, glue and water, and some paint.

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I followed her instructions for cutting the bottle, but decoupaged pages from an old torn book (instead of brown paper) we had in our crafting supplies. I painted the cap and the stand with black paint, first.

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After the paint almost dried, I decoupaged over the stand with a torn up brown paper bag. This way, a little of the black paint mixed in, but not too much. I love the effect it created.

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I then took some copper paint and painted the cap, but made sure to leave a little of the black showing through. I then gave everything a coat of polycrylic to seal them.

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When decoupaging the pages to the bottle, I wrapped them underneath because the edge was sharp. Then I brushed a little of the copper paint along the edge.

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The neat thing about this mannequin is not only is it good for hanging jewelery or as an art object, it fits 18″ dolls’ clothing (which we have a lot of).

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Falafel was especially excited about this!

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I may have to make a few more of these. I was even trying to come up with alternative bases. Maybe using something recycled, as well.

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Finding a good project makes me so very happy! How about you?

What have you recycled or upcycled lately?

The Boho Trouser pattern test

Recently, I tested a pattern for Heidi from Elegance & Elephants.

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The Boho Trouser (and shorts) pattern!

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Firstly, Heidi’s patterns are beautiful to look at. Seriously. I even showed it to my husband and said “Look at how pretty!”. Her photos are really well done, and each one is very informative. I am such a visual gal, so I require photos that help me for each step. This one does not disappoint.

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I learned a few new techniques from this pattern, as well. The pockets go together in a way that is new to me. I have also never used bartacks before! And how cool is that elastic waistband??!! When I learn something from a pattern, I consider it to be well worth having.

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I happened to have this sparkly striped weird fabric (really no idea what it is) in my stash. It appears to have some kind of metallic thread in it, and reminds me of Richard Simmons. Of course, my girl loves them.

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There is a pants option that I cannot wait to try, too. For now, these will be a great wardrobe addition for the Summer (if it ever warms up again!).

What do you look for in a pattern?

On-Our-Shelves Sunday

This week, Falafel and I are starting an old favorite of mine that really needs no introduction:

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

by JK Rowling

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be reading this series with our youngest. I LOVE these books so very much (having read them first with our older daughter some years ago), and to be reading them with a fresh set of eyes and ears will bring new perspective, and with that a whole new love for them for both of us! Woohooo! Here we goooooooooo! Accio Book!

Have you read this series with your kids?

As slow as growing Teeth

I tell you, friends, lately my mind is SO FULL. It only gets full when there is a lot going on that isn’t resolved or finished. So I thought I would give you a little peek inside my head and share what is happening in there. Not all of it, of course, but some of the major ones.

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*I am sharing photos of Falafel to illustrate my point. This girl lost four front teeth last OCTOBER. They are just growing in.

As I was saying, lots going on in there. Especially learning new things. I am currently taking an online workshop for digitizing patterns! You CAN apparently teach an old dog new tricks, OR a 42 year old mom new skills. Whichever. There is so much to it. I am slightly overwhelmed by it all. I have made up my mind to give it a whirl and start my own pattern line. BTW: Feel free to let me know if there is anything you would like me to design. I have some ideas that I will start with, but I always love hearing your ideas too!

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The other thing I am learning is how to use my new sewing machine. It is amazing and also overwhelming at times. It is relearning a lot of what I knew how to do, in a different way. I am taking it slowly, stitch by stitch. I didn’t realize how much of my sewing was done by muscle memory. I wouldn’t have to look at my machine, I just did it, lighting quick. Second nature. Now I have to look. I have even embroidered for the first time ever! Lots to learn.

END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IS ALMOST HERE. That takes up an entire section of my brain, really. There is planning how to honor all those hard working teachers and staff, end of the year activities to help with, and Summer to plan. Yup. That’s a lot.

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For some reason, this time of year is when we are all due for one kind of appointment/check-up or another, and I find myself on the phone talking to people to make appointments…which takes up a lot of space in there.

Having a garage sale this weekend, so there’s that. My lovely friend comes over and we try and sell all the stuff that has been accumulating in our respective households over the past year. At least after this weekend, that one will be out of my head. There’s limited space in there, afterall!

And the cherry on top is, I have been dealing with chronic pain in my foot for months now. That doesn’t really take any brain power, but it sure does distract me.

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All these things feel as slow as growing teeth right now. I know they all will be replaced with all new things after I have mastered/conquered/checked them off my list. Honestly, I think orthodontia for child #2 is going to be on top of the new list!

What is your brain filled with lately?

Testing the Timmy Top

I recently tested a fun pattern for a friend of mine, Amy of Friends Stitched Together, and Crafting con, and now….Mama Quail Patterns! And now I get to share it with you.

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The Timmy Top!

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This pattern is not a quick sew, but it has so many fun little details, and the yokes go together in a really unique (to me) way. I always say that if I learn a new method or technique from a pattern, it’s a good one.

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I let Falafel choose the fabric for this shirt, from my stash. Who knew that paperclips and foxes went so well together?

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I sewed up a size 6 for my petite nut and it fit perfectly.

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There are so many variations you can make of this shirt. Really your imagination is the limit! Even though it technically is for boys, as you can see, it works for girls too. BTW: I want to turn those pocket flaps into eyes so badly. Maybe the next one.

If you would like to purchase your own copy of this pattern, it is 30% off right now using the coupon code: TIMMYTOP  here.

Easy and satisfying

I have seen these around the web-o-sphere for some time now, and have been itching to make one. My wish list and to-do lists are equally long. And sometimes I find myself needing to create, but not having a whole lot of time to do so. That wish list is always more fun.

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In steps frivolous sewing! It really was so simple to figure out how to make. And even quicker to put together.

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Just and embroidery hoop, some fabric, and minimal sewing on the pocket. I think it is just what my sewing space (and I) needed!

What easy projects have you done lately?