Back in March I signed up for a Kindle Case swap on Swap-Bot. The point was to make a Kindle cover for your partner, or in my case, an Ipad case as that was what my partner had. I looked at many, many cute cases (both with tutorials and without) online, but I just wasn’t sure which one my partner would like. Since most of the swappers loved the one listed as an example on the swap’s page, I decided to go with that. The example case was a patchwork version from the Sometimes Crafter, found here.

Because my partner needed a case for her Ipad, which is a bit bigger than a Kindle, I had to make a few adjustments for it to fit. And because I never follow any craft instructions exactly, I also made some other changes. =0) I chose to use quilted fabric strips (by color) rather than squares, and I added Velcro closures – though I sewed on some matching buttons on top just for extra cuteness. I also lined the inside with a soft material to keep the Ipad extra safe from bumps and scratches.

I loved how it turned out. It can be hard to part with things you make, but since it was a swap I also got a similar Kindle case in return.

Strips of different material I used. I love my green mice fabric. <3

Front side.

Back side.

Yesterday I got this text from my brother:

Hey, are you up for any last-minute alterations?

 

Soon after:

Did I tell you that you’re my most favoritest older sister?

 

I’m his only older sister. =0)

Ah, brothers. This particular one, AW, is in the reserves, and it turns out their annual Marine Corps Ball is today. His dress blues coat was much too small, and he wanted me to alter it. I had worked on it last year, but wasn’t able to make it much bigger due to a need for more red trim to sew across the bottom. This time he came prepared; he brought an extra (also non-fitting) coat to use for “parts.” It was a funny way to go about it, but it did the trick. There’s a waiting list, and the uniforms are quite expensive, so at least he has me!

It’s finished!

I posted about this beautiful embroidered gown last month as I was working on making and adding embellished pieces to the sleeves. Now they are done, and are sewn into the dress. The bride wanted to add sleeves and more coverage to her wedding gown. She chose to have pleats around the neckline (back and front) to match the rest of the dress and embellished tulip sleeves. She also wanted a bustle for during the reception, and she liked the French style, which always looks great with a pick-up skirt like hers.

It turned out gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see her expression when she comes to pick it up!

I wanted to crochet a blanket for a friend and coworker who was having a baby. She and her husband decorated the baby’s room in Dr. Seuss characters, and the bedding was of the Cat in the Hat. My brain went wild with ideas of sewn-on or Tunisian squares of the cat, the fish in his bowl, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 with blue fun fur yarn for their hair. It would have been adorable – if it ever got done. I just didn’t have enough time before the baby shower. So when the soon-to-be mom mentioned that she liked afghans made of soft, thick yarns, I went with that.

I had at first crocheted a Cat in the Hat head, so I sewed him onto one of the corner squares and added facial details. Luckily it worked with just one, because by that time I had forgotten how I had made him and misplaced my notes! It turned out pretty cute and cuddly. Maybe someday I’ll have a reason to make another with all of the characters in different yarns.

Remember the Giant Felt Popt-tart? Well, here’s who I made it for:

Our cat, Shadow, went as Nyan Cat this Halloween. He enjoyed it immensely, as you can see.

Not familiar with the Nyan Cat phenomenon? Here’s the pastry cat in all his glory:

No, nothing else happens. There’s no need to watch the whole thing.

Anyway, I thought I’d give an update to the tutorial on how to turn a felt Pop-tart into a Nyan Cat kitty costume.

Nyan Cat Costume Tutorial

1. Follow the instructions to make a felt Pop-tart here, but before sewing around the pastry edges (Number 5), pin some rainbow ribbon or fabric into one of the short edges. I used three ribbon strands of each color (about 1 yard in length) because I coudn’t find any rainbow fabric, but fabric would be easier to deal with. If you use ribbon, running a regular glue stick across the inside edge of the felt helps to position and hold the ribbon before sewing.

2. Finish Pop-tart as per instructions. Then cut two small rectangles (mine were 2″ x 3″) out of felt, a stronger material, or both. (I made two of cotton and two of felt to cover them.) Fold the rectangles in half, and cut twice into the folded edge. Unfold.

It’s another installments of the Nice to Meet You series! The question for this one is: what are your six favorite tools?

As a seamstress and crocheter, I use several different tools. Here are six of my favorites – that I could not live without!

1. Sewing Machine

I <3 sewing machines. If it weren’t for them, I probably would have stopped sewing long ago. Hand-sewing can be such a time-consuming pain!

My awesome husband got me a Husqvarna Viking Topaz 20 sewing/embroidery machine for my birthday this year. I call it my “everything machine” because it can, in a nutshell, do just about anything! I just tell it what fabric I’m sewing and what type of stitch, and it adjusts everything itself and tells me what foot and needle to use. And it fills a bobbin from the needle – no un-threading required. How awesome is that?

I also have a Singer Confidence 7467 we got at Joann’s a few years ago when it first came out. It’s a good machine, has a drop-in bobbin, and several fun stitches. The needle always stops in the “up” position, which can be really useful for some sewists, though it drives me nuts!

2. Crochet Hook

I can’t knit for the life of me, but I crochet with a passion! All you need in order to crochet is a hook – that’s all. And I have several, of course. =0) I tend to crochet with worsted weight yarns, so my favorite hooks are sizes H/5.00 mm and G/4.25 mm. I’ve got teeny, tiny crochet hooks for thread to very large hooks for chunky yarns or crocheting with several strands at a time. I just got a size Q/16mm the other day, and I still want to go bigger! But it’s the Gs and Hs that get used the most – and thus purchased the most, as they end up lost in the car, in the couch cushions, in the middle of a skein of yarn…

3. Scissors

You can’t do much in sewing, or crocheting either, without a way to cut fabric/yarn/thread. Enter scissors. An awesome invention, you’ll probably want a couple pairs. Or three. Or four. Or 10.

Besides trying to keep pairs of scissors (or “skizzors,” as they are often called in our house) in common areas where I might want them, I have several in my sewing room. And several different types. Sharp, pointed scissors are great for cutting threads and seam allowances on tiny hems. But for cutting material I prefer spring-loaded scissors. Much easier on the hands!

4. Iron and Ironing Board

I work a lot at my ironing board, so I have it permanently set up. I often pin and iron at the same time, so the ironing board sometimes gets used as a table. It’s also higher than a table, so it’s easier to work at while standing. I’m terrible about actually sitting down to work unless I’m at a sewing machine/serger! We’ve got a Shark Lightweight Professional that works really well and can also steam while upright. My husband loves it for his work uniforms, and I love that he irons his own uniforms. =0)

5. Disappearing Ink Pen

My mom originally taught me to use chalk to mark fabric. Chalk can work quite well on dark materials, but I tend to work with white satins and sheers and chalk just doesn’t cut it. (Not actually “cut it” of course. That was scissors back at number 3.)

I love my purple Pictogram Pen that came with my Viking embroidery machine. It makes my life so much easier! It shows up on just about any color, and it usually disappears within 24 hours without having to use any water. It’s the best I’ve ever used, and I’ve tried several. I’m not sure where to get another like it, however, so I am in great fear of its (inevitable) drying up!

6. Measuring Tape

I use flexible measuring tapes like crazy. I use them to measure pattern pieces, crochet squares, material, clothing. I use them to measure things while shopping to make sure they will fit where I would like. I use them to measure things around the house since I never know where my husband’s measuring tapes are. Yeah, I use them a lot. My favorite ones are retractable, and I even have a cute strawberry plush one. I love sewing gauges as well, but they tend to actually stay in the sewing room.

As I mentioned in Six Favorite Things I’ve Made, my husband is incredibly tall. Six feet, seven inches to be exact. Clothes and shoes his size can be hard to find. And costumes? Forget about it!

Hubby wanted a nice cape, and I was happy to oblige. Not only did I sew him a cape that actually fits (it reaches to the floor), but homemade costumes tend to be a lot better than store-bought. I used good material and fully lined it, so this cape looks great and will last. In fact, he’s worn it for a few Halloweens already. He loves it. Usually he dresses as a vampire, but he’s gotten creative with it, as well. You can do a lot with an awesome cape!

I made this giant felt Pop-tart the other night. Can you guess what it’s for? Hint: Halloween is coming up, and I have a gray cat…

EDIT: Nyan Cat costume tutorial here.

I didn’t take many pictures as I made it, but maybe I can explain and make this a bit of a tutorial (if for any reason you would want to make a large fabric pop-tart in the future!).

Giant Felt Pop-tart

Supplies:

  • 2 pieces pastry/peach-colored felt (11.5″ x 8.5″)
  • 1 piece light pink felt
  • darker pink/fuchsia acrylic or fabric paint
  • 10.5″ x 7.5″ piece of cardboard (I cut mine from a box.)
  • matching thread
  • fiber-fill or batting
  • white acrylic or fabric paint (optional)
  • white sparkles/glue with sparkles (optional)

1. Cut the light pink felt piece down about a three-fourths of an inch all the way around UNEVENLY. You want it to be slightly scalloped to give it more of an icing-on-pastry look. It will be about 10″ x 7″.

2. Cut around a pastry-colored piece of felt slightly, just to make the edges uneven like the pink piece.

3. Spread out some fiber-fill or cut down a piece of batting to slightly smaller than the pink felt piece. Place the batting/fiber-fill on the cut pastry piece and place the pink icing piece on top. Pin in place.

It had been a while since I’d swapped anything through Swap-Bot, and I missed it. I just had to sign up for some Halloween and fall swaps. Halloween being my favorite holiday (tied with Christmas) and fall being my favorite season.

I signed up for a fall crafts swap, and got a partner who likes bookmarks. I decided to make her a fabric one with some fall-colored leaves I had. I ended up adding some sparkly gold thread for embellishment, and loved it so much I made a second one for another partner I had for a different swap.

I needed to include two items for the fall crafts swap, and I wanted the second one to be something crocheted. My partner’s favorite color was orange, so I made her a pumpkin. I used this free pattern with a few changes, and then added a stem, leaf, and curly vine. For fun I hot glued on a jack-o-lantern face cut out of felt.

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