Party Sweets

Here’s the little cupcake dress I finished the other night. OK, mostly finished — it still needs buttons and buttonholes (any suggestions for button color?) but otherwise is done. Oh, wait. I need to rip out the hem and redo it. See how wonky it looks? It’s not just the picture. The hem really is that wonky. That’s what I get for sewing so late.

The dress is a pattern I picked up at the Expo (I can look it up if someone is that interested). Cupcakes are again from Sublime Stitching; I’m really enjoying that book and just embroidery in general. I have lots of ideas for other projects. For the record, I’m still plugging away on my crocheted scarf. I’m determined to have one wearable object, even if it takes a while. The experience has convinced me that I’ll need to sign up for knitting and smocking classes if I want to actually make something I’m willing to show off.

I think this dress will be perfect for all those special events and parties we’ll be hitting when the weather warms up. For now, it’ll be virtual party wear for …

Glitter Text Generator

Ultimate Blog Party 2008The Ultimate Blog Party! I’m joining the fun at 5 Minutes for Mom and taking part in this year’s global blog event. I even put up a nice glittery banner just for the party! The Blog Party is a great way to find other cool blogs and also win some pretty nifty prizes. I’ve already found quite a few great reads to add to my Bloglines, plus “run into” a couple of friends whose blogs I already read.

For those who are stopping by for the first time, I’m Mary, the self-professed craft addict. My blog is about a year old and documents my many adventures in crafting — some more successful than others. When I’m not crafting, I’m hanging out with my three kids or spending time with my very cute and tolerant husband (aka Honey).

What’s a party without food? Gotta feed my guests so I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes. It’s actually what I made for dinner last night! I found the recipe for Spicy Chicken Cakes with Horseradish Aioli in Cooking Light magazine last year and it was an instant hit with the fam. That’s no small feat around here, since there are five very picky eaters in this house. I have made a few modifications to the recipe, namely using Ian’s wheat panko breadcrumbs instead of making my own. I also use packaged ground turkey breast instead of grinding my own chicken. Martha Stewart can do everything from scratch if she wants. I have three kids, a husband who works too much and no interest in doing every little thing. We also like our aioli a little hotter, so I add a lot more horseradish. Enjoy!


I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt

Posted On February 12, 2008

Filed under Bloopers, Sewing
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Please, try not to be jealous of the hotness that is me. I know that little peek of strap is just overwhelming. You’ll just have to control yourself.

I stink at self portraits and trying to take one with my monster lens and enormous external flash while using one hand is … well, you can see the results for yourself.

But that’s not why we’re here.

No, we’re here to talk about my February project for  Stephanie’s Sew for Yourself challenge. Don’t bother clicking around the blog for January’s project; it has yet to be photographed — with good reason. I’ll try to get a snapshot and share the results on Thursday (tomorrow is another Word-Free Wednesday).

This is a Kwik Sew pattern (3353, if I recall correctly) made with two jersey knit fabrics. I had high hopes for this pattern and am more or less pleased with the results. I do think I will size down on the next one. It seems a bit big in the chest area and neckline; I’m optimistic dropping a size will resolve those issues.

I also will not use a jersey knit — probably ever again. I spent so much time trying to get the curling edges to lay flat long enough to zip through the serger. Major pain. Or is that “may-jah”? Regardless, it was more of a headache than necessary. The fabric is very pretty, though, and reflects the current color and pattern fixation I’ve had going on for the past six or seven months.

Honestly, I think it does fit better than it looks in this picture. (The mirror, however, is just as dirty. ) The pattern includes a shorter sleeve version and a dress, so I’m sure I will make this one again with an interlock. There’s not a lot of topstitching and the next one may get a little more than the pattern calls for, since I’d really like to make sure certain pieces lay flat.

All in all, I think it was successful and I’m glad I made it. Two down, ten to go!

The Never-ending Eve

Posted On December 25, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Holiday, Ramblings

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We’re still up, waiting for Santa. As is Miss L. Good thing I have cooking to do or else I’d have to do something productive. Like fold laundry.

I finished the last of the Christmas jammies just in time for dinner. The jacket still needs buttons and buttonholes but it can wait. After dinner, we held our Second Annual Family Gingerbread Man Decorating Contest. Honey helped Miss L while the boys and I decorated solo. (Only four cookies to each box from Publix.) Fun, fun! Of course, all good things must end:

This is what happens when the entire family goes downstairs to open a couple of presents and the dog has the run of the dining room. Or, rather, the dining room table. She ate G’s entire creation and this much of mine. I’m sure she’s going to get sick tonight, so more Christmas fun. Maybe I can pay one of the boys to clean that up …

We always open one present on Christmas Eve. This year, I made the jammies, more or less. The boys often don’t wear shirts to bed so no tops were made for them. I had planned for them to have the same flannel jammies but my inability to do math on the fly (i.e., the cutting counter at Joanns) means I ended up short on flannel. Again. I ran back over there yesterday and picked up the fun guitar flannel for Gar ($2 a yard!). He loves it as much as his brother loves the comics flannel. I’m rather enamored of that cute pink tree flannel. Not enough leftover for much of anything that would fit me, though.

Wishing you and yours a merry holiday filled with many wonderful things!

Looks Like the Holidays

Posted On December 10, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Confession, Cooking, Holiday, Home, Sewing, Swaps

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I’ve had such a wonderful experience with the latest Sweet Goodness Swap. My amazing swap sister, Jessi, sent me a beautiful garland — the picture really does not do it justice. I only photographed a small section of it; it’s super long and just lovely. My package also included the cutest gift tags. I don’t know if you can tell from the photo, but they are cardstock layered on fabric and they are so special. It will be hard to choose what recipients will get them; I want to make sure they are appreciated! She also sent a tasty bag of chocolate that did not make it until today’s photo session. Jessi, thank you so much for my wonderful swap package! I love it all!

I made these monogrammed ornaments after seeing some similar ones on Ali Edwards‘ blog. They’re made with alphabet rub ons and clear glass ornaments. They were a little trickier than I expected. Luckily, it’s easy enough to start over — just scrape off and start again! I did find that my results improved when I taped each letter to the ornament. Also, it was much better to use my metal rub-on tool than the little popsicle stick that comes with the letters.

The holiday decorating is happening a bit slowly around ye olde Craft Addict abode this year. The boys got the tree up and decorated right after Thanksgiving but the remainder of our decor as stayed in the boxes.

Over the weekend, I tried to get a little more out and up. Putting the runner and place mats on the table was pretty quick and did a lot to festive up the dining room. This may be the last year we use these. I love them but they are dry clean only — not the family-friendliest linens in the bunch. I’ve seen next year’s Christmas fabrics from Robert Kaufman and the alternate colorway will be perfect for my house, so I believe I’ll be making some new table decor. Never done it before, so obviously I’ll have to give it a whirl and make some more spring-ish ones to use before then. It’s not just another excuse to buy more fabric, I promise!

Holiday baking has begun in earnest. In the past couple of years, I’ve made fewer types of cookies but decided to revert to the good ol’ days and make several varieties. I even made a banana nut bread, which I haven’t done in more than a decade (Honey doesn’t care for pecans or walnuts) and I’m itching to slice off a bit to sample. There are two more batches of dough in the fridge and I’m planning to make at least three more types of cookies. So far I’m resisting temptation quite well.

See what my little elf was up to while I cooked? Yep, she camped out on the bottom of the butcher block and ate up her soup. She loves soup and she loves to be in the middle of the action. Normally, she would not be able to sit there, as my Kitchen Aid stand mixer lives in that very spot when it’s not in use. She’s cute AND an opportunist! She was also quite willing to sample as many cookies as I would let her. Ah, my child, for sure.

I’ve been sewing whenever I get the chance but finding time has been a challenge the past week or so. I miss it! It’s such a stress reliever to cut and piece and sew. Luckily, I managed to squeeze in a little time over the weekend and whipped up this pretty little purse for my cousin. She is 16 (about four months younger than my oldest child) and loves the color tangerine and the combination of pink and tangerine.

I thought the Candy bag from Melly & Me would be perfect for her. I’m still planning to make a key fob and iPod case to match.

I have to be honest: it’s not my best work. You can’t see the sides, where the lower pocket pieces do not match up. Or the pucker in the quilting.

You see, I had this brilliant idea to modify a pattern I’d never before sewn. I wanted the outer pocket actually quilted — with batting and everything. Nice in theory but the execution? Oy. By the time I had to stitch through all that batting and fabric to make the corners of the bag, I knew I’d made a grievous error in judgment. If I had more time, I would sew another and keep the screw up, even though the colors really aren’t me. *sigh*

Foiled Again

Posted On December 4, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Confession, Sewing

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Seriously, what is it with me and thread? I did it again today, only this time I’m not even a quarter of the way through. On the up side, I ran out of sewing time just as I ran out of thread, so I’m trying to console myself with the notion that I didn’t miss much. Still, one has to wonder: when am I going to learn?

It’s Sewing Season

Posted On September 27, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Sewing

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I’ve been sewing again — what a surprise! LOL! I love fall and I have so many outfits cut out that I may actually run out of season before they are all done. Yikes!

Got a couple of things done this week, one of which yielded a rather important lesson: Did you know twill has different sides? I didn’t until I found out that I’d sewed another paneled skirt with all but one piece facing wrong side out. I don’t know if anyone will actually get close enough to my legs to be able to tell, but I know (and now you do, too).

First up is a cute peasant-style dress I sewed for a friend’s daughter:

The main fabrics are from Alexander Henry, lucky finds at Joann’s. The green is from (I believe) Lakehouse and nicely matches the green in the big print. This is one of those “I’ll just sew it and send it” kind of outfits, so I really hope she likes it.

I picked up another AH coordinate to make a Halloween casual set for Miss L:

The pants are a modified Britches & Bloomers. I trimmed the rise a little bit, as well as the length, and also widened the pant leg a little bit so it was less tapered. There’s a rouched ruffle of the two dot prints at the top’s hem. Not sure what color tee I’m going to make for under it. It could still be warm enough for short sleeves when she’ll wear this, so I may hold off on making it until the last minute (which probably is also when I’ll get around to sewing on the suspender clips — they’re pinned on for the photo).

Finally, I share my little kimono cutie:

I actually sewed this during the Stash Game but am just now getting around to sharing a picture, mainly because my model refused to wear it and/or let me photograph her. Oh, to be almost three and that bossy!

The pattern is from Folkwear and really proved a challenge to me — not just because of the sheer size of the pieces. Some things just didn’t make sense, so there are some goofs with which I’m not too pleased. Still, it will fulfill its purpose which is to be worn to the Japanese festival this weekend  and then added to our dress-up wardrobe.

Live and Learn

Posted On May 21, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Confession

Comments Dropped 7 responses

Me and my brilliant ideas.

Really, you’d think I’d know by now. But no. I continue to learn things the hard way.

Today, I decided to cut and sew the Western-style shirt I’ve had in mind for a few weeks now. Only, I was going to take this boy’s shirt pattern and Euro girlify it. Use a little La Zagala fabric. Piping. Pearl snaps. How hard can it be?

I wrongly thought Timtex was the devil. The devil is, in fact, piping. Even basting in that crap did not make it any easier to work with. I’m forgoing the snaps altogether since I don’t think this shirt can be worn out of the house. Although as unhappy as I am with the finished product, I do have to say that the collar — my first — looks pretty darned good.

Note to self: Buy muslin and use it the next time I get a whim. Because 99 cents a yard is much less painful to screw up than that damned $16 a yard imported European fabric. (Good thing the little missy is so petite — I have enough left over from the yard I bought to try again.)

Today’s Duh! Moment

Posted On April 9, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Confession

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Oprah can have her Aha! moments; I will stick with my Duh! moments.

I finally got around to working on my stripwork purse. It took me about forever to pick out the fabric — I bought a bundle of fat quarters from my quilt shop — and then another forever to make the time to work on something for me. I was so excited to get going on it today! I cut out all my pieces, got both sides stitched together and the first side quilted (a first for me — I’ve never tried it before).

And then I ran out of thread.

Seriously, I use more white thread than anything else. Why would I not buy three or four spools at a time? Which is exactly what I’ll be doing tomorrow.

Gauze and Effect

Posted On April 2, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Confession, Sewing

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I had this brilliant idea to make myself a skirt. I bought three yards of this pretty turquoise crinkle cotton gauze, measured myself (always a scary prospect) and cut my strips for sewing. Decided to shortcut the whole process and just use my gathering foot on my serger to attach the tiers while gathering.

In theory, a brilliant plan. In practice? Disaster.

Most of what I sew is toddler-sized. I can get away with a yard of fabric (or half a yard) for an outfit. A three-yard skirt is a whole ‘nother animal.

By the time I gave up, I had used up every last bit of fabric I could cut for this skirt. And still, I have maybe one third to one half of a tier to gather and stitch before this bunch o’ fabric could really be called a “skirt.” It aspires to be a skirt … someday.

Apparently, this fabric gathers really well. Better, in fact, than any fabric I’ve ever gathered before with my serger. And because I gathered and attached at the same time, I woefully underestimated the length needed for each tier. Running out of fabric was just the kicker.

I’m pretty sure I will turn this lemon into Lynchburg Lemonade by cutting up the sorta skirt to make a sundress for Miss L. In the meantime, it can sit in my “figure it out later” pile.

Gotta love those learning experiences.

Busy Bee

Posted On March 6, 2007

Filed under Bloopers, Confession, Sewing

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I was a sewing fiend this weekend. I managed to sew a purse and three outfits for DD. Not too shabby!

First off, the purse. I used Heather Ross fabric, Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries, I think it’s called. I love the fabric and I’m pretty happy with how the purse turned out. It’s the biggest purse I’ve made — I usually do toddler-sized versions — and it took a little more math than anticipated. The button closure was a sort of last-minute decision; I’m glad I added it. (That’s my KRZR peeking out of the pocket!)

Next up is a fun halter dress-top and jeans outfit. I adore this Michael Miller fabric. I bought it off eBay without knowing what I was going to do with it. When I saw the dress pattern on YCMT, I knew I’d found the perfect fit. My older son helped me decide the fabric placement and is the one who suggested doing ruffled jeans instead of pants. My fashion consultant!

It’s not quite finished. I need to do the top stitching of the dress and I think I’m going to make a newsboy hat to match, as well as a purse. I only bought two yards, so I need to plan well because I don’t have much left to work with. As it is, I had to cut the skirt for the dress twice because of a grievous serger miscalculation on my part.

I’ve never embellished overalls before and thought I’d give it a whirl. You know how they say “never say never”? Well, I’m pretty sure I mean it when I say I’ll never again attempt to do this. I think they’re super cute but definitely more of a hassle than I expected. More Michael Miller fabric, this time the Dandy Damask. I think the stripe is a Kaufman fabric; I’d have to go digging to be sure. It’s not a perfect match but I think it works. The dot was sort of a last-minute addition; the fabric was left over from another project and I thought it made for a cute accent.



Now for my favorite! I found this gorgeous handkerchief fabric on SuperBuzzy and knew I wanted to make an apron something from it. I had no idea what fabric I’d put with it, what exactly I’d do with it or even which handkerchief I’d use. Three trips around the quilt shop before I stumbled on this ovals-on-pink fabric. I had thought I’d use another square for the apron but I thought the oval medallions were a perfect match. Another learning experience with this project, though: I measured my sweet daughter for the top but didn’t fit her during the sewing since she was sleeping. I ended up with a top that would fit her in maybe two years’ time! Out came the seam ripper and the rotary cutter. This one fits much better.

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