A Mendocino Bedroom!

I finally have a few images of Addy's big girl room to share!
First up, her big bed with coordinating pillows:
 Another shot (this is from the doorway):
 The fun wave mirrors we found at IKEA on clearance! (The white door leads to the bathroom, the stained door leads to the kitchen. Confusing, I know.)
 If you're standing where I was when I shot the above photo, the closet door is to your left. And next to the closet door is this awesome toy box. My mom's friend hand painted it as a gift before I was born. LOVE IT.
And there you have it! A small room with a giant bed for a cute little girl. :)

Polka dots, stripes, and a cute dog print!

I cut into a little bit of my Heather Ross stash to make this camera bag.  I saved some of each print for the scrap quilt that I want to make, but all in all I think this was a great project for these prints.  It's something that we will use, and it adds a little bit of fun to an otherwise boring bag.

I followed the basic measurements and construction for the Capture the Moment camera bag from the Sew Liberated book.  I was going to draft the pattern from scratch, but I wasn't in the mood to troubleshoot.  So I headed over to JoAnn's with my coupon in hand, and I got the only copy that they had in stock.  Woo-hoo!!

This pattern was really well written, and it came together very easily.  I used canvas for the interior and exterior of the bag body, and a mix of canvas and my Heather Ross prints from the top flap.  The pattern calls for a wide wale corduroy, which I would have preferred if I hadn't already purchased the canvas.

Here are a few of my changes:

Bag strap.  The original pattern calls for D-rings and lobster clasps to attach the strap to the bag body.  I liked the idea of being able to remove the strap, but the D-rings weren't working out well.  They twisted around quite a bit, so I replaced the D-rings with rectangular rings and ditched the lobster clasps.  I also used my printed fabric to cover a length of 1.5" webbing for the strap.  I have mentioned this before, but this is my favorite method for creating a bag strap.  It ends up really sturdy and durable, plus you can cover the webbing with whatever coordinating print you'd like!  I used canvas for the Festival Bag strap, and even the added bulk was no problem.

Pockets!  I added a zipper pocket on the outside of the bag back and a small pocket on the inside of the bag.

Top flap.  I'm not sure if I like this change, to be honest.  I was worried that the top flap wouldn't cover the bag well enough, so I created a flap that would cover the top of the bag like a gift box top.  I didn't make the sides quite deep enough for my liking, so I am going to use the bag for a bit before I decide if I should change it.  I also used 2 layers of batting for the top, which isn't quite enough structure.  If I change the shape of the flap, I will probably insert a piece of 1" foam as well.  (And get a load of that piping!)

Bag binding.  This was a small change, but I love the effect that it had.  To finish off the top of the bag, the pattern directs you to make a length of binding and cover the top raw edge with it.  Because the canvas is bulky, I decided to add a small section of my polka dot print.  I applied the binding almost all of the way around the bag, with part of the beginning unstitched (in the same fashion as if you were to bind a quilt).  As I came around the bag, I stopped stitching the binding.  I measured the correct length, trimmed my binding, sewed the two ends together, and finished applying the binding to the bag top.  It worked out really well to reduce bulk, and I love the pop of white when I open the bag!

I had a lot of fun with this bag.  Initially I procrastinated quite a bit, but the construction when off without a hitch!  I owe my sister a camera bag, so you'll probably see another one of these around here some time.  As soon as she chooses her fabrics. :)

The Mendocino quilt - finally!

I have actually been storing this finished quilt in my sewing room for several weeks now.  The quilting was finished in early June, but I stalled out on the binding.  Once Matt left for Seattle, I spent most of my nights in my sewing room rather than sitting in front of the tv (which is when I sew most of my binding).  I did finish it up after a few movie nights, but then I had to wait for a photo opportunity.  It's kind of hard to photograph a full size quilt all by yourself. ;)

The details:
I used Kona in pale flesh for the solid
All prints are Mendocino by Heather Ross
The pattern was based on this:
I couldn't find any information about this pattern online, but it's called Kid in the Candy Store and it was designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr.  I found the pattern in the April 2006 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting.
I didn't piece the rectangles because I wanted larger pieces of the prints.  I referenced the pattern for yardage and cutting dimensions, but did my own thing with the piecing.
Machine pieced and quilted.  Quilting is a random, gentle wave pattern that travels across the quilt.

The front:

The label, including a tiny bit of selvedge (which I haven't written out yet!):

And the back, which shows the quilting better:

I love how this quilt turned out.  It took a lot longer to piece than I would have expected, and I had a tough time making the colors look random enough for my liking.  It was really worth it, though!  I love the colors, and I think it will work well in Addy's bedroom for a long time.
I have quite a few scraps left, and I'm hoping to make some fun pillows from them.  Just don't hold your breathe for a post on them. ;)

The Far, Far Away dress

Now that the Far, Far Away II fabric has hit the stores, I'm finally getting around to using and blogging about my Far, Far Away I!

This dress started off as a shirred sundress.  I wanted to make something for myself, and I read some really great reviews for these simple dresses.  Not wanting to mess up, I thought it would be wise to use a pattern for what was supposed to be a super easy dress.  Lucky me, I found the Mendocino Sundress pattern!

I printed the pattern, stared at it for awhile, and held my breathe as I cut into the fabric.  After I had the pieces assembled and all of my edges serged, I started sewing with the elastic thread.  16 rows of stitching later, I held the dress up.  Wow, it looked tiny.  But it's supposed to be tight, right?  Well, kind of.  I could get the dress on, but it certainly didn't look cute.  I searched all over the internet for tips, when I stumbled on some comments about printer settings.  Oops.  My pattern pieces were probably half of the size they should have been!

There wasn't any chance that my purple double gauze would even be transformed into a shirred dress, so I compromised.  I added some 1" elastic at the top, thin little halter straps, a gathered piece under the bust, and a tie.  The gathered piece is only sewn down to the dress at the top and bottom, so they form a nice channel for the tie.


It's soft and comfy, plus it has fun pockets.  Overall I think it's the best fabric save I could manage with the pieces that I already had cut. :)

This is why I'm never blogging!

I promise, I get lots more done than I blog about.  Quite honestly, if I have a few free moments I'm probably in my sewing room or at the very least knitting while I watch tv.  It's usually when I'm up until the wee hours of the morning finishing up a project when I think about blogging.  And by that time, I really just need to go to bed!  So here are a few of the things that I've been working on lately (they *do* all involve fabric, at least!). If I'm brave, I'll make a list of what projects are soon to be started.  It's a long list, though.  Very long.

These are pieces of particle board that I covered in fabric.  They are the final pieces for my bathroom.  I had Matt cut them to the size that I wanted, cut the fabric several inches larger than the boards, and stapled the fabric down on the back side.  Matt still needs to add hangers (is that what they're called?) to the backs.  And then I can call my bathroom complete!

This project is a great example of why I am so slow to complete things that I start.  I had every intention of cutting the fabric for my sister's bed quilt last night.  But I found this super cute scarf online, and decided that my sister and I *needed* them.  Needed them so badly that I wouldn't sleep at night if I didn't dig through my stash for some knit right that second.  And so a created two scarves.  One for me, and one for Stac.  It will be her Valentine's day gift from Addy.  (I'm nearly positive she doesn't read my blog.  And even if she did, she won't read it before she receives the scarf.  Last I checked, she had 700+ unread blogs on her reader!!)
I made this scarf from the instructions on this website.
I have an idea for another knit scarf, similar to this one, but not quite the same.  Last night after I finished these 2 scarves at 1:30am, I couldn't sleep.  And so when I can't sleep, I design projects in my head.  Hopefully I can get out to buy some more knit soon!

I had a *lot* of help with this project.  My sister and I took a class at PaperSource in Lincoln Park a few weeks ago and this was the end result!  We learned how to bind these albums, but really the skills we used can be transfered to many different types of books.  I bought the supplies to create a small journal and an address book.
And in case you're wondering, the book binding is a woven fabric.  So there, this project really does include fabric!

The photo on this one isn't great.  I'll post an action shot when it warms up, but right now it's just too cold for this shirt!  Last summer Heather Ross came out with her Far Far Away fabric.  It was printed on double gauze by Kokka.  I scored a few different prints, most of which are still uncut in my sewing room.  I did use one print to make a summer dress for myself (which I'll have to post when it warms up!).  From the first time I saw this white print, I've through that it would look cute as a collared shirt.  The only collared shirt pattern that I had was in the Sew U book.  The great thing about this book is that it gives great suggestions for altering a traditional pattern.  I ended up with the following changes:
shorten the sleeves to 3/4 length
remove the cuff and add a small pleat and a binding
remove the collar, but keep the collar stand
add a ruffle to either side of the shirt front
leave off the top 2 or 3 buttons

The last thing that I have left to do is to take in the sides a bit to make the shirt more fitted.  For now, this shirt is hanging out in my sewing room because it's too chilly to even try it on for a fitting!

This is the last project that I'm including, and probably the one that I'm most proud of.  A leather bag!  (Cough, cough, hobby junkie, cough, cough.)  I used a remnant of grey leather for the bag exterior.  The interior (not shown) is an Amy Butler print, as is the tie on the shoulder strap.  The bag measures 14" tall, 9" wide at the bottom, and 6" deep.  There's a topstitched seam that runs down the front and back, a gathered section 2.5" down from the bag top, and some very cute little pleats on the sides at the bottom (not shown).  The shoulder strap is about 3.25" at the widest part.  On the interior, there's a zippered pocket, 2 open pockets and a magnetic closure.
So far, I love this bag.  I learned a lot about working with leather, and still came away with a bag that I want to use!  I picked up with leather from a fabric warehouse when I took a day trip to Chicago with another fabric-loving friend.  I see another trip in our future, a girl can never have too many leather bags!!

Funny enough, all of these projects involve fabric but none are quilts or quilt-related!  I'm sort of a hobby junkie. I'm known for saying, "$120 for that?? I can make that!"  And thus a new hobby is born.  I've recently discovered this amazing blog.  I'd love to try building some furniture. But Matt needs a new hobby far more than I do, so I'm hoping that the several ideas that I forward to him from that blog each week will eventually entice him.  Until then, I must stay away from any more hobbies!

I'll spare you all the list of impending projects.  I'm a list maker, so when I feel anxious about the state of my under-decorated house I make lists of what needs to be done in each room.  Just the home stuff is enough to keep me busy for months*.  Now everyone needs to stop having birthdays, getting married, having babies, and any other events that veer me off of my regularly scheduled projects.

*I'd feel guilty if I didn't add that my super fabulous mom is coming down AGAIN this weekend to help me with some curtains.  She was just down 3 weeks ago when I made my kitchen valances and Addy's curtains, and she worked her butt off on my living room curtains.  This weekend we're going to tackle the dining room and master bedroom curtains.  Phew!