Thursday, April 29, 2010

Second time is a charm

I started sewing last night, and I got on a roll.  I ended up finding some time to sew again today, and I pushed through and finished my apron!


I think I just love it because it is something I can actually wear (oh vanity, vanity)!  But now that I finished my apron, I MUST make one for my son.  He will look so cute with it on while we are cookin' up somethin' good!

Ta-Da!  Why do I feel like dancing?

If you are interested in this pattern, it is Simplicity Sewing for Dummies 2824., and if you are interested in reading a more in-depth review of my experience sewing this pattern, then see the right.  

I really enjoyed putting this one together!  I can tell that I am finally starting to understand a lot of the sewing terms and diagrams.  It is making much more sense to me now this time around.  My only trouble with this pattern was the D ring tab construction on the upper left hand corner of the apron.  It took me a while to understand how the instructions were telling me to put it together.  Other than that, it was a piece of cake!

And speaking of cake, since this seems to be a cooking theme, I wanted to include one of our family's favorite recipes.  It is a hot milk sponge cake from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  It is also a low-fat yummy.

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

Optional Toppings
Cool whip
Strawberries or other fresh fruit
Powdered sugar

Grease a 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Set aside. 

Stir together flour and baking powder. Set aside.  

In a mixing bowl beat eggs with an electric mixer on high speed for 4 minutes or till thick.  Gradually add sugar, beating on medium speed for 4-5 minutes or till light and fluffy.

Add the dry mixture and beat on low to medium speed just till combined.

In a small saucepan, heat and stir milk and butter till butter melts.  Add to batter, beating till combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 min. or till toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack.

Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!  Our favorite topping is Cool Whip and strawberries, but you can also have it plain with a little dusting of powdered sugar!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm no dummy!

The project for this week is actually something that I started on a couple of years ago when I first became interested in sewing.  I remember going to Walmart, browsing through the sewing pattern catalogs in order to choose my first special project.  It was then that I came across the Sewing for Dummies collection made by Simplicity.  I thought to myself "Well, the books are wildly popular for various subjects, so why not a sewing pattern?  I'm no dummy! I can easily sew one of these patterns!"

So I bought this pattern that very day:

Not only did I buy the pattern, but I bought all the fabric and necessary items for this pattern to be sewn.  I was so encouraged by the little man displayed on the left hand corner of the pattern, stating "Stitch up a storm the fun and easy way."  In the end, did I have fun? No.  Was it easy?  No.  Did I stitch up a storm?  Yes, but not in the way I should have.

I am reluctant to pick up this project again, yet I really want to make an apron, because I love to bake with my 3 year old son.  We have a ball in the kitchen, and he is such a big helper!  As you can also see, this pattern has a kid's apron as well.  I'm going to try my hand at finishing an apron for myself first, but I would love to make an apron for my son as well (appropriately boy-themed, and probably in the color blue, his favorite).  Who knows?  He may be a chef one day!

Keep me in your thoughts as the week goes on.  I know that there are no really complicated skills for this projects, it is just understanding the pattern jargon/instructions.  Yes, even with Sewing for Dummies!

Stay sew-filled in every way!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Back in action!

I am back on the scene, and this time I have a finished oven mitt!

I have spent the last couple of days doing things for this project here and there, and I finally stuck it out and finished it!  I don't know how, but to my surprise, it came out looking like an oven mitt!

After looking at my finished project, my husband remarked "Wow!  That's really good!  It looks like an oven mitt you would buy!  My baby is becoming a regular seamstress!"

I must say it felt awesome to hear him say that, yet another part of me wanted to say "hey, wait a minute, you didn't think I could do this well in the first place?"  But no, all kidding aside, it was a nice compliment to receive.

Here are the pics...

These next photos I just had a little fun...

This is the mitt in our kitchen, hanging from the cabinet.

This picture makes me think of comfort food, like mac n'cheese, or mashed potatoes, or a yummy casserole.  If I had a great recipe to give you, I would post it here, but I don't, SORRY.  Either way, I look forward to using my oven mitt to take out lots of my hot dishes.

As far as sewing this went, this was one of those projects that, now that I look back on it, was not hard, only time-consuming because I am still learning.  There was nothing particularly difficult about this project.  I even got the hang of sewing on the binding, though I would like to work on making the start and finish of the binding come together more seamlessly.

For a more in-depth review, see the right.

I haven't decided what the next project will be yet.  I was thinking about an apron.  Hmmm...

Stay sew-filled until we meet again!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Hey everyone!

I hope the start of this week has been great for everyone!

Everything is good on this end, except for the rain outside.  It is a bit dreary today, so I thought I would work on finishing up my oven mitt.  Of course I hadn't anticipated that it would take me a little more time than I usually take.  This is in part due to the fact that I have to make binding for the mitt, and I have never done that before.  I hear that most people do not like making it.  Also, am using my walking foot for the first time!  Now installing it has not been bad at all, and I really like the way my machine sews with it attached.  I just have to stay the course and finish up some odds and ends with this mitt.

In the meantime, I was surfing around the Internet when I discovered a really cool website.  It is the website to Threads magazine.  I am a fan of Threads magazine, and I have recently considered subscribing, so I was checking out what they offered online.  To my surprise, there is a section there that is for beginning sewers, like me!

This section includes online videos that are designed to help the beginner sewer.  I watched most of them last night to make sure I am on track, and I learned a few things here and there.  I can't wait for more videos to come out, so check it out here if you are interested.

I'll be catching up with you all soon!

Stay sew-filled!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A time to buy...

Yes! It is the time to buy!  There is something about warm weather that brings out a freshness, newness, and shopping fever!

I took a risk and took my two children to Joann's today--my son is 3, daughter 10 1/2 months.  I kept thinking to myself "Either this will end well, or really, really badly!"  You moms know what I mean!  Well, it ended well.  My son did try to touch everything in the store, but he did not run away from me in the store so this trip would be considered a blessing!

So, a sneak peek for the oven mitt fabric...

When I saw the condiments in a row, as well as the burgers and hot dogs, I just had to grab this one!  It's a Debbie Mumm fabric, and it is much more brilliant in person.  I love the food theme, and am excited about how the oven mitts will turn out now!

Okay, so I really didn't shop a bunch at Joanns.  I just grabbed what I needed and got out since I had the kids with me, but I must say I took a chance on a magazine they have out.  It is from Simplicity, costs 2.99 (I saved an extra percentage with a coupon, yay) and it shows you different simplicity patterns for that season.  I picked up the spring/summer 2010 version, and I really like it so far.  It is giving me more ideas of what to do for this summer.

Here's what that looks like...

Another bonus is there are a total of six Joann's coupons on the back cover!  Now I have another excuse to go back (I really didn't need one).  Also, Simplicity patterns are going on sale in a week or so...Just some food for thought.

On a totally unrelated note, my husband received an exciting item in the mail yesterday.  He has been working so hard at writing his first book, and he finally received a proof copy in the mail!  We were so elated we took some pics to commemorate the occasion!

Here is my sweetheart holding his book in his hand.  There are not many words that can be said for seeing all of your hard work come to fruition.  I am so proud of him!

Here is a close up so you can see the title.  It is a reference booklet for anyone needing help when purchasing a new vehicle.  My husband has worked in sales for many years, and the wisdom he has learned is all in here, to help the consumer with their next car purchase.  The book will be available next month at, and I will post another update.

I know it is not sewing related, but I just wanted to share a big moment in our lives with all of you!  

I look forward to posting more soon!

Stay sew-filled!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Now you see it...

AND, now you don't...

I added a couple of patterns in the pocket so you could get a feel for this project.  I like the pocket, but can't say I really will use it to store much.  I organize most of my things, and don't really have stuff that could go in the pocket.  If you have any ideas, please comment.

If you are interested in this project, see here for details about where this project came from (see right for more in-depth review).  I had a ball making this sewing machine cover!  I think it is because I knew I personally needed this for such a long time!  I just smiled as I slid the cover over my machine.  It is good to know I made what I needed.  It challenges me to create more things that I need, and brings me to the project for this week...

none other than oven mitts!

I am staying true to the One-Yard Wonders book and sewing oven mitts from page 62.  They also have a pattern for hot pads, but I want something I can slide my hand into, as I already have hot pads in my kitchen.  I must say, from the sewing machine cover project, that I truly love the way the instructions are written in the book!  It makes it so easy to follow, and it feels great to know what the heck I am doing!

So, sew-along with me this week if you'd like!

And as always, stay sew-filled!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dreaming of patterns...

In case you didn't know, Joann's is getting ready to have a big ol' sale starting from April 11th-April 17th, and even into the end of this month.  The sale includes various items for crafts, but I am mostly interested in, yes, the SEWING PATTERNS!  I have had a lot of fun sewing little projects here and there, but I am ready to transition into pattern sewing.

I say that with some trepidation because the last couple of attempted sewing pattern projects ended in a mess (and they were labeled "easy"), but that was back when I did not know as much as I know about sewing today, so I am hoping my knowledge makes a difference.

These are some of the patterns I am considering (in no particular order)...

I think this is the cutest shirt!  I would like to make this my first attempt at a spring/summer top.  And I like the variations on the shirt. I could make all of the different styles in different fabrics, and still not feel like it was boring.  I am a little nervous as to how something I sew myself will come out, but I am pressing onward and upward this year, and I want to make the effort.

Now this shirt is also my style, even though I know it is a knit pattern, and knits can be trickier for beginner sewers like me.  I am hoping to buy this one and stash it for later, as the summer gets hotter.

This is one of those patterns that I think could work, with the right fabric and right view.  I definitely don't like the view A that the model is wearing, but the other views are cute.  I hope you can see the theme of EASY patterns here.

Absolutely adorable (the outfit and the baby)!  I really like this pattern.  I think the jacket is so cute, and so unique.  This would  make a cute outfit for my little one, now 10 months old.  

This one is another knit pattern, maybe for a rainy day.  It is Vogue 8558, Very Easy.  I really like the crossover V neck on this one, with the option of sleeveless to 3/4 length sleeves.

This pattern is also a Very Easy Vogue pattern, 8390.  I love the top view with the wrap on the left side. 

Well, that covers it!  I am excited about picking up some new gems to try, and look forward to a wonderful summer of sewing!  BTW, the weather here is beautiful and sunny, with a slight wind.  

Also, think about checking out the Joann's nearest you, and picking up some patterns for yourself.  Not all patterns are on sale, just Butterick, Simplicity, Mccall's.  And these three have various dates for the sale where I live.  The price point varies from 99 cents-3.99 (still better than full price).  In case you were wondering, I did try to find some interesting Butterick and Mccall's patterns, but I just didn't see anything for the time being.

Anyhow, see you later!

Stay sew-filled!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cover it up!

If you are anything like me, then your sewing machine does not have a cover hanging over it while it is not in use.  Don't get me wrong, I hang an old shirt or towel over my machine to prevent dust from collecting, but that's nothing compared to putting an attractive sewing machine cover on top of it. 

That leads me to this week's project:  a sewing machine cover!

This sewing machine cover comes from the One-Yard Wonders book, page 83.  I have heard so many good things about this book and I am excited to finally be sewing from it!

Also, I can finally have something pretty to put over my sewing machine...

Here is a picture of my sewing machine, which I love!  I tentatively bought this machine online from Overstock.  I only say tentatively because I really would much rather "test out" my sewing machine myself before making the commitment to buy, but I figured I could not go wrong with this machine, as the reviews for it were all so good!

I was right!

I am still learning to use this machine, but by far, this is the best sewing machine I have ever owned (I owned a basic Kenmore, and a Babylock Companion that I sold to upgrade to this one).  This model is a Janome 11510, or more appropriately, a refurbished Kenmore 19110.  The body style is a dead ringer for the Janome Heart Truth machine, and the features are comparable, except the one on Overstock sells for less.

I have not had any problems with this machine.  The stitches are beautiful, and it sews nicely and most importantly (with sleeping kids a lot of times) quietly!

So if you are looking for a new sewing machine, consider this one!  And if you are looking to sew a sewing machine cover, consider the one I will be sewing this week!

Until later, stay sew-filled!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Finished at last!

Phew! I am done with this week's project!

I got over my cold/flu on Wednesday, so I sat down last night, and in two hours of uninterrupted time, I finished my newest project, my wristlet!  I must say, it turned out beautiful!  I am so pleased with the work I put into it!

First, I'll show you some photos, then I'll give my review of the project...

This photo is the finished project

Here is a peek-a-boo at the inside lining

This photo is not meant to confuse anyone.  I just pulled out the inside lining from the pouch.  If you sew this and use a different material for the lining, then you will see the contrast.  In my picture, however, the material is
the same.

This is the back of the wristlet

So, what do you think?

I would recommend this project for sewers of all levels, though beginners may have some trouble visualizing how everything comes together with the way the directions for this project are laid out.  I do not think that the directions are bad, in fact they are well-written, it is just one of those projects that makes more sense once you finish it.  Now that I finished the project, (Sew What! Bags Wristlet) if I were to sew another wristlet tomorrow, I would have no problem knowing how to lay all of my fabric pieces.

The only new technique I learned with this project was sewing on a zipper.  So, I discovered the zipper foot on my sewing machine!  It did take a little getting used to, but I think that was because you are sewing so many layers at one time, and my sewing machine kept chewing my fabric.  Talk about frustrating!   For most other zipper insertions, I think I will not have as many issues, as I will have a larger area of fabric to work with.

Overall, I found that this project challenged me, but was not TOO challenging.  I would sew it again if there was a need to do so.

Thanks for your patience with this project!  I will announce the next project this weekend, and I am also hoping to show you a couple of things I have in the works for my children.  These little projects are fun, but I want to get to things for the kiddies!

Stay sew-filled!