Let’s go to the hop

Hey friends, it’s time for a blog hop!

Ummm… what’s a blog hop? That’s the first question I asked when I was invited to participate.

Disney-Rock-Around-the-Mouse

Of course, my mind went right to this awesome Disney poster I had hanging in my bedroom growing up.

A blog hop is a way for bloggers to connect, get to know each other and share each other’s blogs. All I have to do is answer a few questions about my blog and writing process, and then nominate two other bloggers to do the same!

I was nominated by Jaime Johnson with Jaime Sews. Jaime has heaps of “real life” sewing experience so garments are a breeze for her… honestly, I don’t know her “in real life” but I’m pretty sure she could whip up a perfect, wearable item with her eyes closed. I’m so envious! She makes some really adorable clothes for her little ones and  has etsy shops for both handmade items and fabric. Check her out!

And now, onto the hoppy questions.

Why do I write?

I’ve always been a writer, although I didn’t label myself as one in the early years. When I was maybe 7 or 8 years old, my closest friend and I used to play a game called “mail” where we’d write little letters, magazines and even “junk mail” ads for our stuffed animals and dolls. We’d distribute said collateral accordingly and then spend time reading each other’s notes to our inanimate audience.

In those days, I also brought home stacks of books from the library and read incessantly, which led to quite a bit of story writing. I think I was the only one in my class who got really psyched about the annual story writing competition we had in my elementary school.

IMG_6193

Getting my Karen Brewer fix.

I studied communication and public relations in my undergraduate years and my career choices have led me to roles that largely focus on writing.

But WHY do I write? It basically comes down to this: I’m not a smooth talker. I’d be a terrible salesperson, lawyer or motivational speaker – but I bet I’d be pretty awesome at those things if I had 20 minutes to write out a thorough response each time it was my turn to talk.

ad95577bae99930feb7e62d8c27b1a1e

Words don’t fall out of my mouth as nicely as they come though my hands onto paper. I spend more time than I should in my head, regretting things I’ve just stupidly said out loud and wishing I could reword them. That isn’t the case with writing. I can make sure everything is just so before hitting the “publish” button.

I chose to blog about sewing and crafts for a few reasons.

  1. I don’t have a lot of people in my “real” life who want to talk about these things. Blogging = built-in community!
  2. This blog serves as a neat archive to look at all of the projects I’ve completed (and also gives me the ability to quickly share these accomplishments with friends and family around the world).
  3. I don’t think I’d have learned nearly as much about sewing had it not been for all of the resources available on the internet — especially from bloggers.

What am I working on?

As far as the crafts go — I recently shared my One Hundred No Pressure Projects idea, so lots of my upcoming projects will likely be from that list – but not all! With fall upon us, I really want to get started on Christmas gifts so I’m not blindsided when I realize Christmas is just days away. Making gifts is so hard because I have to keep everything a secret during the creation process!

Tina Fey understands.

Tina Fey understands.

How does this blog differ from others of its genre?

I’m new(ish) to sewing and new(ish) to public blogging. Sometimes I feel intimidated by the greatness of other craft blogs, or I feel dumb asking questions about the blogosphere as a whole (e.g., the cluelessness that ensued when I was initially invited to this blog hop). I hope my blog doesn’t intimidate other beginners because for the most part, I consider myself a beginner too. One of my (unofficial) long term blog goals is to write tutorials for beginners so I can help them have stress-free sewing experiences.

How does my writing process work?

I’ll often keep blog drafts in the queue for a long time before I publish them. Right now, I have 30 drafts just floating around in there. I sort of jump around between blog posts, developing the actual content until one starts to stand out above the rest.

Then I revise like a CRAZY PERSON. Right now this particular post is on version 20! Lately I’ve been trying to be less of a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. I have no choice but to be a perfectionist when I write in the professional world, so it’s hard to write in a more relaxed fashion here – even when I make a conscious effort to do so.

edit

That said, when I deem my blog post “complete” and it’s ready to go – it’s READY TO GO. This site gives me the opportunity to schedule posts in advance, but I rarely use that feature. I have such a hard time holding onto completed posts and I want to publish them immediately. If I try to wait more than 24 hours, my brain is like…

giphy

When a post is done, I just want to share, share, share. Partially because I’m excited and partially because I know I’ll continue to edit if I don’t! ;)

Okay, that’s enough questions for me. Now it’s my turn to pass the baton onto two more bloggers!

First up, Leasa, who writes for Project Leasa and also has an etsy shop, A Piece O’Lease. Leasa’s blog is a lifestyle blog covering “Parenting, Wife-ing, Working, Crafting…. Everything!” She will often showcase her incredible quilting projects or things she has made for her cute son, Levi. I also follow Leasa on instagram, where she recently shared photos of a skirt she sewed using licensed Simpsons fabric — I got totally giddy at the prospect of incorporating licensed character fabric into grown-up clothing.

Second baton goes to Heather, whom I happen to know “in real life” as we worked in the same department for many years. She writes for Designed to Thrive, and also has an etsy shop with a variety of artwork, including intricate zentangle designs and customizable prints. One important thing to note about Heather’s shop: half of the profits are donated to the Center for Children’s Cancer & Blood Disorders at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children! Heather’s blog and shop are fairly new, but are sure to gain a quick following with all of that good karma floating around.

If you’ve made it this far in the post, kudos to you! Be sure to check out my blog friends – can’t wait to read their posts in the coming week.

LindsaySignature

My friend furoshiki

I initially thought this would be a really basic story: “Look at the cute gift I made for my friend Melanie’s birthday! The end.” But this story ended up having a cool, coincidental twist! Read on.

My lovely friend Melanie (who, by the way, was the ringleader for our 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon running group) lived in Tokyo for a few years and once told me she really loves cherry blossoms because they remind her of her time spent in Japan. I have always remembered this fact because I, too, love cherry blossoms — but I really have no reason for loving them, other than I like the way they look (sadly, I have not visited Japan) (yet) (hint hint, Tokyo Disneyland anybody?).

image_3

I had a bit of cherry blossom fabric leftover from some other projects, so I put it to the side for Melanie and revisited it while working on her birthday project. And the zipper, which matched perfectly, came from my crazy bulk zipper stash – I’m slowly working through those and finally starting to make a dent!

In the spirit of trying new things, and also tackling my 100 No Pressure Projects List, I decided to make a bow pouch that I had seen on Pinterest some months ago. As I tend to do with all zipper pouch projects, I used a mashup of tutorials — the Little Bow Clutch Tutorial on This Big Oak Tree and my favorite zipper pouch tutorial on Make It Perfect.

And I love the way it turned out. Love, love, love.

image_6

I lined the inside with a charcoal/black calico print I already had on hand because it seemed to flow with the floral theme. I never, ever line zipper pouches with the exact same  fabric I’ve used on the outside. Because that would be boring!

Lined

But here’s the fun (and educational) coincidence. Do you know what furoshiki is? Yeah, neither did I… according to the trusty (ha) Wikipedia, “furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.” Apparently when Melanie was living in Japan, she received a baby gift that was wrapped in furoshiki and looked just like this bow pouch – so not only the cherry blossoms, but even the design, is sentimental for Melanie.

1024px-Traditional_Japanese_wrapping_cloth,huroshiki,katori-city,japan

An example of furoshiki from the Wikipedia.

So how coincidental is that? I had no clue. I just picked the bow design because I wanted to try something new and I thought it looked cute – but Melanie was destined to receive this design. It was obviously fate!

But whether it’s a bow clutch or furoshiki – there will definitely be a lot more of these bow clutches in my future.

LindsaySignature

PS – After I wrote this post, it sat in my blog queue for awhile because I wanted to make sure Melanie approved before I posted. Between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Melanie brought me the most wonderful book — Furoshiki Fabric Wraps by Pixeladies. The book has beautiful photos and detailed instructions for wrapping all sorts of gifts in fabric! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. You can bet I will be writing about some of these wraps when I try them out. And now I’m convinced I need to buy a serger so I can serge all of my fabric and use it for furoshiki!

Furoshiki Fabric Wraps Book

 

 

 

 

One Hundred ‘No Pressure’ Projects

So this is it — my one hundredth post! Woohoo!

In honor of this milestone, I’ve come up with a list of 100 projects I’d like to complete. It’s sort of like a sewing bucket list. I’m posting the list here and as I complete a project on the list, I’ll add the link to the completed project.

Award

Some notes about the list:

  • Project diversity: Some things on the list are specific projects I’ve always wanted to complete. Others are more open-ended and scavenger-hunt-esque (e.g., something inspired by my hometown).
  • I’m a weirdo: Some things on the list may seem kind of strange without explanation — but I promise to explain the background in full detail when each project is completed and I get the chance to write about it.
  • Bunting = love: One of the categories is all about monthly bunting — I want a bunting for every single month! Even though I’ve already completed a few month’s worth in previous blog posts, I’ve left them on this list and marked them as completed. So technically I have a bit of a head start on this list. But I get to make the rules and I say that’s okay. ;)
  • I’m repeating some previous goals: There are some things on this list I’ve already done. Like gifts for certain family members. Or projects inspired by Disney characters. But I’ve left these on the list because I have more ideas and I intend on tackling these goals once again!
  • Patterns I own: I’ve listed a bunch of commercial patterns I already own (thanks a lot, 5 for $5 sales!) — my goal is to make at least one project from each pattern listed so I can justify the purchase of the pattern. But no pressure to make every single project listed in the pattern! And speaking of no pressure…
  • No pressure: There’s no timeline for this list. I may get through one project next weekend — and another project a year from now. This list is just for fun — not to fulfill some crazy “project a day” challenge or something. I work full time and have a life unrelated to sewing and blogging, y’all (shocking, I know) — so this shouldn’t be something that keeps me awake at night.
  • There will still be side projects – lots of side projects! My future sewing projects won’t be limited to this list. If something else pops up, I’ll still sew it and blog about it and all that. But it just won’t be a part of THIS challenge! I have a feeling tackling this list will really slow down as my gift-giving ramps up around Christmas time. This list won’t change, but my priorities might!
  • Shout it out: If there’s something on this list you really want to see me tackle, let me know — maybe I’ll make it next. Similarly, if there’s something on this list you’ve already made and you have helpful tips or tricks — please share!

So without further ado — here’s the list (in no particular order) …

Family Gifts

  1. Something for my dad
  2. Something for my mom
  3. Something for my brother, Jason
  4. Something for my future sister-in-law, Sarah
  5. Something for my roommate, Katie
  6. Something for Katie’s dog, Winnie
  7. Something for my brother’s dog, Gizmo

Selfish Sewing – aka, stuff for me!

  1. Something for my car
  2. A collection of juggling supplies to keep at work
  3. Shoe bag(s) for traveling
  4. A duvet cover (I’ve previously written about this goal)
  5. Pillow shams
  6. A padfolio for work
  7. A towel that slips over the back of a pool chair
  8. A passport cover
  9. An accessory for my DSLR camera
  10. An insulated case for a hot hair straightener while traveling
  11. A completed cross-stitch project to frame (Read about my first ever cross-stitch project here!)

Bunting — for every month of the year!

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April (COMPLETED 4/5/2014 – Easter Peeps Bunny Bunting)
  5. May
  6. June (COMPLETED 7/11/2014 – Summertime Watermelon Bunting)
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October (COMPLETED 10/2013 – No blog post, just a photo!)
  11. November
  12. December
  13. Generic birthday bunting

Around the house

  1. Covers for the decorative pillows on the couch
  2. A table runner
  3. Placemats
  4. An ironing board cover
  5. Dish towel toppers (sewn or crocheted)
  6. Fabric baskets / bins
  7. Insulted wine bottle tote
  8. Hanging laundry bag
  9. Apron (I have my eye on the hot pad apron in One Yard Wonders)
  10. Christmas tree skirt
  11. A “pixel” quilt (sewn or crocheted) – (Here are some examples)

Really specific projects

  1. Little Bow Clutch (COMPLETED 9/13/14 – My friend furoshiki)
  2. Embroidery Hoop Clock (Here’s the tutorial)
  3. Birthday countdown calendar (On the cover of this book)
  4. Floral baby blanket (crochet) (Here’s the pattern)
  5. Mega card holder wallet (Here’s the tutorial)
  6. Egg shaped potholders (they’re just the right size for your hand!) (Here’s the tutorial)
  7. A rag quilt using long strips vs. squares (Here’s an example)

Techniques to try

  1. Reverse applique (Here’s an example)
  2. Properly hem something
  3. Use a serger (aka buy a serger… wheeee!)
  4. Ruffles
  5. Buttonholes
  6. Paper piece a quilt block
  7. Piping

Garments

  1. Something I can wear to work
  2. Refashion an oversized hoodie
  3. Lace belts (here’s the tutorial)
  4. Swimsuit cover-up
  5. Dress made using a tank top for the top half
  6. Cardigan, bolero or jacket
  7. A dress that feels retro (maybe for Dapper Day at a Disney Park!)
  8. A replica of Liesl’s gazebo dress from the Sound of Music — I have a feeling this will be the last project I ever complete on this list, LOL… dream big! I have yet to conquer garments, let alone fancy movie replica garments! (here’s the pattern)
  9. Some sort of hat / headband / headwear

Using stuff I already have

  1. Something using the Marimekko fabric I got in Finland (!!!)
  2. Simplicity 2685 (Four different purses)
  3. Simplicity 2493 (Three different rag quilts – caterpillar, turtle or dinosaur)
  4. Simplicity 3956 (Six different tank tops / shirts)
  5. Simplicity 4127 (Six different tank tops)
  6. McCall’s M5778 (Christmas crafts)
  7. McCall’s M5949 (Halloween crafts)
  8. McCall’s M6353 (Infinity dress)
  9. Butterick B5432 (Pajamas)
  10. Upcycle an old shower curtain or bedding and turn it into something else

Kids/Toys

  1. Something for an 18″ doll (e.g., American Girl doll… gotta fulfill a childhood dream here)
  2. A Disney Princess inspired apron for dress-up (Here’s an example)
  3. Something wearable to gift to a child
  4. A toy-car roll-up (like a crayon roll, but for toy cars)
  5. A crayon tote (a crayon roll / tote bag combo)
  6. A fleece “lovey” (blanket/stuffed animal combo)
  7. Plush playhouse (from One Yard Wonders)

Open-ended projects

  1. Something inspired by a Disney theme park attraction
  2. Something inspired by a Disney character
  3. Something inspired by a children’s book
  4. Something inspired by Russia (to pay homage to my international trip!)
  5. Something inspired by my alma mater, Miami University
  6. Something inspired by my hometown, Chicago
  7. Something inspired by my personality type
  8. Something inspired by scuba diving / the ocean
  9. Something for a charitable cause
  10. Something for my friend Joe’s classroom
  11. Something inspired by the north woods of Wisconsin (a family favorite vacation destination)
  12. Something inspired by safety
  13. Something inspired by exercise / working out
  14. Something I teach a group of friends to make (sewing party!)
  15. Something inspired by dentistry (gotta love my family of dentists)
  16. Something inspired by childhood nostalgia — the 80’s/90’s
  17. Something inspired by my favorite animals – sheep!
  18. A zipper pouch that is an odd shape (similar to the tea cup pouch, but something I come up with on my own)

So there you go! I had a hard time splitting the list into categories and having the numbered bullets actually list the numbers 1 through 100, but I promise there are 100 projects listed there.

One Hundred Projects on the horizon, guys! Plus a whole bunch of miscellaneous projects that are sure to pop up throughout the journey. Like I said before, these aren’t the ONLY projects I’ll be working on — after all, this doesn’t include any of the top secret stuff. ;)

Thanks for following along and supporting me through the first 100 blog posts!

LindsaySignature

 

 

 

Ninety-Nine and a Half

Remember when I told you the last post was number 99, and the next post would be my hundredth blog post? Well, apparently I lied. When I published the last post, I got a pop-up thanking me for contributing my NINETY-EIGHTH post. What! How did I mess that up? I thought I had this all figured out. Apparently not. I’m fairly certain I could have gotten away with this lie and just said the next post was number 100 anyway. But I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So here’s a mini-update I’ll call Ninety-Nine and a Half… which would make my next post the hundredth. Sigh.

Anyway, this is perfect timing because I have a mini-update. Remember the Pencil Bunting 101 tutorial from my friend Joe a few weeks ago? Well, now that school is officially in full swing, he’s sent some photos of his banners in action!

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: how to create pencil bunting banners for your classroom

Continue reading

Ninety-Nine!

Guess what? This is my 99th blog post, with my 100th just around the corner! It’s taken me a pretty long time to get here, considering my first post was on October 19, 2010. But my last-minute decision to go to grad school in 2011 meant my blog took a really, really long break and I’ve recently hopped back on the sewing train. Celebrate!

In my next post, I’m going to announce a cool new idea I have up my sleeve in honor of the 100th post. But for number ninety-nine, I thought it would be fun to dig into the archives and highlight some of my previous projects – including some that were never even mentioned in my blog. This is just as exciting as getting the DVD and watching the extra scenes that were cut out of the movie, right!?

Continue reading

The force is strong with this one!

Whenever I come across licensed character fabric in the remnant bin, I feel compelled to buy it. Licensed fabric is expensive, and remnants are a great opportunity to get the fabric for 50-75% off, depending on the sale. So that’s exactly what happened a few days ago when I came across some Star Wars fabric in the bin. I’m not really a Star Wars fan, but I have plenty of friends who are. And my association with Disney in recent years has made me familiar enough with the franchise that I knew I could put it to good use.

When I got home and added the purchase to the ABYSS I call my fabric bin, I felt guilty for being such a fabric hoarder. I definitely buy more fabric than I use. I’ve been pretty good about avoiding fabric purchases for some time now, but like I said, I have this thing about licensed fabric. So I decided I needed to immediately start using up some fabric for something — anything. Starting with Star Wars.

The Star Wars print, which was supposed to look like a bunch of comic book covers, had a rectangular shape on it that looked almost exactly the size of the zipper pouches I like to make. So I had to try it.

image_5

Continue reading

Lindsay’s (not-for-knitting) Bag

Remember when I made my roommate Katie this whimsical knitting bag for Christmas?

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Amanda's knitting bag pattern review

I recently decided I wanted a bag of my own! I was keeping skeins of yarn in one of my favorite reusable grocery store “green bags,” and to be honest, I just wanted the bag back in my collection for grocery purposes.

The only thing is — I don’t knit. So this is really more of a crochet bag, because I crochet. But the pattern is technically called Amanda’s Knitting Bag by the Sometimes Crafter, so it feels blasphemous to call it a “Crochet Bag.” So I affectionately call this Lindsay’s (not-for-knitting) Bag. :)

Continue reading

Sophia’s Quilt

This is a long overdue post to talk about a project that wrapped up a loooooong time ago! Based on my blog posts alone, you may think the mustaches and elephants quilt was my very first rag quilt. But … it wasn’t. My very first rag quilt was completed months and months prior to that when I tackled the now out-of-print Simplicity 4993. I’d had this pattern on my radar for a long time so when I discovered it was recently retired, I jumped on etsy and grabbed a brand new copy.

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Simplicity 4993 Teddy Bear Quilt

Continue reading

Pencil Bunting 101

If you and I know each other in real life and you’ve worked on a crafty project, chances are I’ve hounded you to write a blurb for my blog. Sometimes I beg to no avail and just write a blog for you (ah-hem, Krafty Katie). But for the FIRST TIME EVER, one of my friends has actually given in to this peer pressure.

I’d like to think this is a form of “positive peer pressure” — you know, the kind you learn about in D.A.R.E. class… kind of like this:

Positive Peer Pressure

Anyway, remember my good friend Joe? I made him a Mickey Mouse “man bag” for his birthday. Joe is a fifth grade teacher and he’s been going crazy on the Pinterest for the past week or so, preparing ideas for his classroom. When he sent me a picture of pencil bunting he made for his classroom (you know how much I love bunting), I begged him to send me a write-up and photos!

Continue reading

I’m not a dentist (and other weird facts)

I come from a family of dentists. Three generations of dentists, in fact. My grandpa was a dentist, my dad is a dentist and my brother is an oral surgeon. We even have a photo of my grandpa working as a dentist during WWII.

Written on the back of the photo: Somewhere in France, doing dental work on a soldier in an apple orchard. My dental assistant on the right.

Written on the back of the photo: Somewhere in France, doing dental work on a soldier in an apple orchard. My dental assistant on the right.

My dad retired this week, so I guess I should have said he was a dentist – in the past tense. But given how important dentistry is to my family, you can understand why it feels a little weird to say it in the past tense. My dad’s retirement has been a pretty big deal around here. Especially because now I’ll have to start buying toothpaste for the first time in my life.

Continue reading