Thursday, January 27, 2011

Stand-up Case Cover for Kindle or other ereaders (eg. the Nook)

 This is a prototype Kindle Cover I made for a friend. Easy Peasy.

When it's all folded up, it protects the kindle inside, the flap held closed by elastic. 
Above is the front view with flap held closed with elastic.
Below is the back view.
The outer fabric is a stretchy black and white knit.
The inside is made from the covers of a hardcover book. The cover is sturdy enough to stand up for hands-free reading. (I don't have a kindle, so below is my "artist's interpretation" of one standing up.

Here it's laying flat.

How to: Cut off the covers off an old hardcover book

Cut the pieces to size

 Sew up a long tube with elastic on one side

and a stretchy flap pocket on the other side to hold the kindle upright

 Take the snake like tube, and insert the book cover pieces. Sew them in place.

...and there you have it. A stand-up ereader for hands free reading.

or folded up to store or carry in your purse.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Green Pepper Socks F890

A quick, easy and warm project... fleece socks. And these Green Pepper's fit perfectly. By BF is delighted, bundled up (on, yes, this is Florida) in a hat, fleece jacket, and now fleece socks.

They took maybe 25 minutes to sew. (After my BF traced his size off the pattern and cut out the fabric)

1. Sew the heel seam
2. Topstitch the heel seam with zigzag stitching. (The pattern calls for polyester thread so it stretches and all I had was the green)
3. Sew the seam that attaches the bottom heel section to the top. (couldn't be easier!!!)
4. Optionally, you can add binding to the top, but my BF said they stay up just fine unfinished.

Thanks to my PR friends, including Jane at Lucky Sew and Sew for singing the praises of how easy this pattern is and how well it fits. All true! Truly an easy, practical, well-fitting pattern!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hand-sewn Book

Not feeling well the past week, I haven't felt up to sewing, so feel bad I haven't accomplished anything new to write about, so here's a project from a little white ago... a hand-sewn blank book.

It's sewn with a running long stitch on the spine, decorated with some beads and trinkets. The cover is covered with hand painted paste paper. The inside cover is gold painted tyvek. The spine fabric is black fabric. The inside covers are book board re-cycled by taking the covers off an old textbook. (That's the place I get all the covers for hand made books)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Where are pants patterns that fit slim in the legs like RTW?

Here's the iphone app I want: you point it at a RTW pair of pants and it prints out the pattern. Am I the only one with this problem? I cannot find pants patterns that fit without tons of alteration, when I seem to be extremely EASY to fit in RTW. I can even go to a THRIFT STORE and find half a dozen pairs of pants that fit well: slim in the hips and legs, not ridiculously tight on the waist. But patterns?... no way. It's like they're made for a non-existent body type.... tight at the waist and baggy in the legs. Anyone else frustrated with this?

For example: Paired below with my two favorite tops from 2010 is a pair of RTW pants that fit the way I like, same as many others I have in my closet (many from thrift stores):

1. Simplicity 4076: twist tie top review

2. Simplicity 4095: black crossover top review

I wish I could say I sewed these pants. But I didn't. I say "why bother?" It's so darn much work to make them fit. If anyone has advice ... or maybe my mistake is sticking to the big 4? Or is it time to grow up and make a sloper once and for all?

How do you all cope?

p.s. I'd HIGHLY recommend both of those top patterns. Definitely my fav's of the year.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Yay! I WON! ...6 patterns from "Patterns From the Past"

Thanks to the awesomely generous Michelle Lee, owner of "Patterns from the Past" (, I was the lucky recipient of a prize consisting of 6 patterns from her awesome website. They arrived in my mailbox today. (extremely quick shipping and in great shape!) THANK YOU Michelle. I won these as the 2nd place prize in patternreview's "pattern stash" contest. Well, I actually DIDN'T win the contest. I came in 2nd place, having sewn 28 patterns. The contest was set up so that the second place PRIZE (of $50 worth of patterns) be awarded by random drawing. But the winner of that drawing (a very generous seamstress named Jan...Thank you Jan!!), told the organizers to give the prize to me, since I sewed more patterns. In the end, we decided to split the prize, so we each had the fun of browsing through a huge selection of wonderful vintage patterns.

The ones I chose are very "modern" compared to many of the truly "vintage" patterns that Michelle has. Patterns from the Past resells vintage, retro and costume sewing patterns. They carry all kinds of out-of-print patterns, from the 1920s to the present. They also have older knitting, crochet, and tatting books. These are the original items, not reproductions.  I'd highly recommend you take a look at her site.

So here's what I chose:
The two stylish Vogue skirts in the first pic. I LOVE those gussets on the first one and the pocket seams on the second).

And this cute little faux wrap skirt...
 Two floaty, drapey tops
and last but not least, I fell in love with Skeeter Skater. (I used to skate in a Precision Skating Line so I had to have this lil guy)
Thanks again, Michelle and Jan. You both made my day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I need help!! ... deciding on pattern and how to finish long edges of camel coat.

I'm debating between 3 McCalls patterns: 3448, 5987, 6209 to make a drapey, floaty coat out of this camel colored fleece. I'm looking for opinions... And ideas on how to clean finish the long front edge and hem of this polar fleece. (I've not made something like this before...)

Looking on pattern review, I'm leaning toward 5987, a pattern that's been made up beautifully by several gals:

Cozy winter white by Meg

Sharon's in a camel color. On her blog she includes a great tip on how to make a mitered corner by stitching on the diagonal. And she shows various ways of wearing this versatile coat.

Chic Black Wool by Nancy

Fresh, pretty green wool by Annie

Gray polar fleece by Claire, who uses a beautiful finish she calls a "Greek stitch", which I've not seen before, but it surely looks lovely.
I'd sure appreciate help in deciding on the pattern and how to finish the edges. I assume this beautiful greek stitch requires a more modern machine than I have???

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sewing recap 2010: 28 items sewn

14 tops, 2 skirts, 1 pair of capris, 6 dresses, 2 sleepwear items, 2 men's wear, 1 cover for my dressform


Surf's Up Fabric Bag by Shannon at Mushywear

I fell head over heels for this darling bag made by Shannon at  mushywear. Isn't it darling! I asked her where she got the "Surfs Up" fabric, and she immediately replied. (Thank you Shannon!!) Turned out that store didn't have any more. It's an OOP pattern called "Surfs Up" designed by Heidi Dobrott for Robert Kaufman. But I found it at and it's already ordered. I'm so excited to have one more little splash of fun in my ever-evolving "Surfer Chic" decor. I'm thinking of cutting out the little squares (evidentally they're vintage album covers) and appliqueing them on something.... to be decided .... stay tuned
and thanks again, Shannon for the great idea.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Project Boom Boom Room

We're living amidst the upheaval of construction... the rebuilding of the Boom Boom Room (what B calls our 3-season porch at the back of the house. He's tearing down and rebuilding two of the walls, and installing a pair of French Doors on each wall.  (There's a sewing aspect to this post... I promise)

Why the rebuild? Big reason: the roof leaked and destroyed the ceiling. In a couple weeks, a new roof is being installed. 
In the meantime, all the wicker furniture that usually sits out there is shoved in the living room, including  this wicker couch.  My part of the project will be the recovering the cushions of the wicker furniture. It'll be in white with splashes of this gorgeous barkcloth fabric.

Here, B is oiling the wood he'll install on the walls. 

 ... and the oiled wood dries

I'll keep you posted on the progress.
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