Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm on Etsy!

I've started an Etsy shop called BluePea to sell my most requested craft item: shopping cart covers.

My son in his cart cover

When my oldest son was about 3 months old, he outgrew that handy little carrier seat that parents now use to tote about their infant children. Most kids stay in the seat until they are at least six months old or older, but my little guy was tall, and he quickly shot over the carrier's height limit, which forced me to switch him to a permanently installed car seat. From a driving standpoint, there was no change, but I quickly discovered that shopping became quite difficult because my son was still too young and wobbly to sit in a cart, yet too long to hold comfortably while pushing a cart. My solution was to create a shopping cart cover and strategically sized matching cushions that I could use to prop him up in the cart's seating area. So I purchased some cute Spiderman fabric, and made a super cushy cover loaded with quilt batting, and went on my merry way with my son safely ensconced in his cart seat. Well! The reaction I got from moms each time I went out, asking where I got such a great cover, was pretty unexpected, but soon I was taking orders to make other covers.

Now that I've exhausted the customer base at my local grocery store, I thought it was time to get online! So I set up an Etsy shop and am patiently awaiting my first sale. If it works out, that'd be great, and if not, my investment to post items for sale is less than a dollar at this point, so no loss there. Check out my shop, called BluePea

Monday, August 17, 2009

The dress is done!

I've been working (and procrastinating a lot) on the flower girl dress I agreed to make for a friend's daughter. Having never worked with sheers before, I found the process quite challenging, right from cutting the pattern pieces to actually sewing everything together. BUT (drum roll please!), the dress is finally finished and my friend and her daughter both love it. I also learned a lot, including:

* huge flat washers from the hardware store make fantastic (and inexpensive) pattern/fabric weights. I purchased ten to begin, but will be getting at least another ten for larger patterns.

* how to set up and use the rolled hem feature on my serger, which was uber helpful in taming the raw edges of the sheer fabric.

* how to insert an invisible zipper. Given my trouble with the fabric, and the fact that I've never done an invisible insertion before, I was pretty happy that it only took me two tries. I can't believe I've avoided them for so long. I had no idea how to start, so used this video tutorial on YouTube.

Now for some photos...and I'm a little disappointed in these, but that's what happens when you decide to take pictures at two in the morning.

This is the pattern, Vogue for Me 7681, view A, which is the bottom left of the three views.

My friend wanted some modifications, including shortening the dress to just below the knee, adding some extra volume to the skirt, and creating a removable, pleated sash instead of the attached half sash included on the pattern.

Here's the finished product (and it looks much better on a little girl than it does on the floor):

The pleated sash, which only appears crooked (=

The bodice lining (another first for me), along with ribbon used to cover the raw edges of the gathered waist.

Dress without sash

Next projects: padded fleece and cotton cat mats to be used to keep the kitties at a local no-kill sanctuary comfortable (my good deed for the week), and then an end-of-summer top for my step mom. I'd really like to start making more garments for myself, but I'm losing baby (and other excess) weight and would rather wait until I plateau before making things that I'll shrink out of too soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

While I was sewing...

The other day I was upstairs hand stitching a lining while the kids played. All of a sudden, I looked up to find this...

...yep, that's my 7-month-old cruising along the edge of the coffee table. I'm not ready for this!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Crazy quilts -- am I missing something?

I'm a fan of most things crafty, but I just can't get into crazy quilts. I don't like looking at them, or touching them (and I'm a chronic fabric toucher), and I simply can't imagine why anyone not desperate for warmth and with no other choice, would want to make one. Then I got my Club BMV sale notice email, and there was an ad for Barbara Randal's Crazy Quilting With Attitude. Is this form of quilting really popular? Am I missing something?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The never ending dress

Flower girl dress continues to give me fits. I've undone and re-done almost every seam several times, and still have puckers. I've tried different needles (stretch & sharps), different presser feet, different machine tensions, all to no avail. And did I mention time is running out? I don't even want to think about the invisible zipper I have to put in after it's lined.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Late night online retail therapy

All the snags and slowdowns I've been experiencing in trying to get that blasted flower girl dress together have sucked away my sewing mojo. I've wasted three good night, just wandering around my sewing room, picking up fabric, sitting by my sewing machine and doing absolutely nothing. Last night I ended up surfing Ebay, and finished my evening by purchasing five new presser feet: a ruffler attachment; an invisible zipper foot; a teflon roller foot; a felling foot; and a sequin foot. Totally unnecessary purchases, but hubby gave me the okay to buy. I think I'm a tool and gadget junkie. For anyone who is interested, I bought the presser feet from Ebay seller dafent, with whom I've had good experiences in the past. As a bonus, he doesn't gouge on shipping charges, which is one of my personal online shopping pet peeves.

As always when I'm stalled in a project, I start dreaming of new ones. I've had snippets of visions of an applique quilt running through my head, which could be fun. Of course, I say that now, having never done applique! I was looking through an old quilting magazine from the library, and it showed a photo of Corean Liggitt's original Leaf quilt...absolutely charming!

Here's a pdf link to the quilt details (the image above is just a small piece), along with some templates. I love to dream big, but I think I better start with place mats or a table runner size!

Tonight, if my kids cooperate, I swear I will work on that dress. It needs to leave my sewing room asap!