Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day: December

This giveaway is closed. Carole Carter is the winner! Comments with email addresses will be deleted to protect your information.  Thanks for entering the giveaway! See you next time. 

I am excited to be participating in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day.  It's hard to believe that I started this blog 3 years ago to make closet space for my little one who is now three and a half and I have another little one that is 1 1/2 years old!  On the 3 year anniversary of this blog, I am very excited again to join in this year's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  My blog was started when I lost my crafting room when my son was born. It was an attempt by me to clear out my substantial craft supplies. I am still working on it. ;)

As this blog is about clearing out my craft closet, I am happy to send along a package with fabrics from my stash to a good home. I bought all of these fabrics with no project in particular so they've never come to anything.  I think I was thinking of making a quilt with these fabrics. I liked the fabric and it was a good deal so I bought it.  I just haven't made the projects.  Too many projects, so little time.  :)  It's been difficult to get projects done around here with the two kids.  I still try to craft when I can.  It brings me so much satisfaction. 

My giveaway prize features fabric from my stash.  Three pieces.  1) A 1/2 yard piece that is mustard colored with a black design. 2) A blue piece from a quilt gone bad.  It's a long piece about a yard and a half, but it's only 18 inches wide. 3) A green piece with yellow design.  It's about a yard long.  

It's all packaged up and ready for a winner!

To the winner, I hope you can find some good use out of these fabrics.  I would love to see what you end up making.  Send me a photo if you remember.  This is my way of thanking the crafting community. I have learned so much from tutorials around on the web. So thank you! Samantha

To win, please leave a comment below from December 9th to December 13th at 5pm PST for a chance to win.  You can write your email at ____ dot com so your email won't be picked up by spammers.  Thanks.  A random winner will be picked with by December 14th.  If the winner does not respond in 5 days another winner will be pick (Sorry).  US winners only.  Sorry no international shipping.  

Good luck!

A question for you:
Do you ever buy fabric without any specific intention or do you always have a project in mind when you buy fabric?  

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for helping me clear out my craft closet. :)

Some of my better ideas on this blog:
Organizing my fabric
Organizing my fabric has made my crafting time so much more efficient and pleasant.  I can find everything!

Organizing fabrics with fabric swatches
If you want to take just a bit of fabric swatch to the fabric store and also want to know what fabrics you already have, this is helpful.

Follow me on Pinterest:

Link to the all the other Sew Mama Sew Giveaways:

Friday, December 4, 2015

No sew fleece blanket

Christmas sewing is under way. I am nearly finished with a big Christmas gift, a fleece blanket for my brother and sister in law. I can't show it here yet, but I can send you off to the instructions if you want to make them. 

I had previously tried to make a two layered fleece blanket with a crocheted edge for them last year which became a failure that lives in my home. It was a version where you sew, then cut and then crochet and do it again for the second side. It took forever and my hands were hurting after so much cutting. Every half inch around a three yard piece of fleece.  Not so fun

I found these instructions for a no see version and it's taken me a few hours and I nearly done!  I'm so excited I might even make a little bag for the blanket. 

Here is what I did to modify the instructions. 
Safety pin the two layers together so it's flat and they match each other in size. 

Cut the two inch squares off each corner before doing the cutting around the blanket. 

I made 1 1/2 inch cuts around the entire blanket. (I think next time I would make 1 inch cuts)

Fold the tabs over and cut holes in the middle of the tabs. 

Take one loop and pull it through the loop next to it. Continue around entire blanket. 

Cut the hole in the last loop. Pull one set(the two layers) through the first loop. Overlap ends and sew together.  

Voila! It takes only a few hours. It could be finished in an afternoon, if you have that kind of time. It took me three sessions over a few days. 

Link to original tutorial:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Birthday present: a mistake or two

I have a friend with a birthday next Saturday and I wanted to make another of those wallet pouches I made last week. I thought I could make it without reading the directions again since I just made it, but I was wrong. 

It seemed too thin when I finished it up. I had it all packaged up when I realized I forgot the flannel layer that she uses as a type of batting. So. I'm keeping my mistake and I made another. I was nearly finished with the second one and I ran out of thread. I wasn't able to finish the top stitching around the top. I decided that I should stop and the gift was good enough. So it's packaged and ready to send. Too bad it's a holiday tomorrow. I would have sent it then. 

It still looks good. I love this fabric. The top one is without the flannel and the bottom one is with the flannel. 

This only takes about an hour. The most time consuming task is getting the sewing machine thread and bobbin set up. 

Here's my pin to the tutorial:

Friday, October 9, 2015

Little pizza chef hat

I have looking at this tutorial for a pizza chef for a while on Andrea's notebook. It looked super easy and I wanted to make a hat for my son for Halloween.

The tutorial was easy, but there is a problem with the instructions. It says you only need 1/2 yard of fabric to make this hat and then it tells you to make a 24 inch circle.  1/2 yard is only 18 inches. You can't make a circle 24 inches unless you sew the fabric together.  

I made due with a 19 inch circle. Thank you to the lady that cut my fabric a little large. If you want to follow the directions you will need 2/3 of a yard of fabric. 

My son is three years old and his head circumference measurement was 21 inches.  

The hat turned out great!  He loves it!  Now I need to make the apron to go with it. 

Link to tutorial:

Friday, October 2, 2015

I had a little time..

My friend is moving quite suddenly and I really wanted to make her a gift. I had marked a business card wallet that looked like a quick sew and I was right. I went through my fabric stash and came up with three combinations I liked.

I think she will like this one. I started with this one.

I am thinking that this would be an excellent gift for all the ladies in my family for Christmas. Totally manageable and satisfying. 

The tutorial is from a spoonful of sugar designs. Found here:

Follow me in Pinterest: 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Making progress

I worked last night and a bit this morning. The dress is coming together. I'm pleased. I messed up a bit on the collar but it's not too bad.  Cross my fingers but I think that this will be the first time I haven't rushed to finish a Halloween costume.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Starting a new project

I started on a Halloween project for my daughter.  It's a dress.  My first dress.  Wish me luck!

It's this dress.  Well. This is the starting point for my dress.

If you look, it sends you to this other dress called the Emma dress for the pattern pieces.  It's a bit confusing and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.  So far I've cut out the pieces, but haven't gotten to the sewing yet.

There are three parts to the Emma dress.

Feeling blessed

I was able to go to a free class at my local fabric store, Hart's fabrics, today.  The class was a class called Fabric 101 and it was a part of their National Sewing Month celebration.  The class was so informative (Thanks, Kiki!)  I have to say the selection of fabric at Hart's is amazing!

The quality and beauty of their fabrics is like none other I've ever seen.  You can visit them at  You will be amazed by the selection!

It was really difficult not to leave the store without any fabric!  But I did (Phew!)  I did purchase something I actually needed a set of Ball point needles and Microtek needles as well.  Something I figured out that I needed after participating in the class.

The store also has a wonderful blog as well with lots of fun projects and the ladies that work there are talented and helpful.

Thanks Hart's fabrics for having this class!  I loved it and the other women in my class seemed to as well.  I was a little bummed a few weeks ago that I missed the french seams class, but hopefully, cross my fingers they will have something like this again!

Monday, September 21, 2015

So Sew Easy Sewing Swap

I was lucky enough to stumble onto a sewing swap on a blog I follow, So Sew Easy.  It was the first one I've ever participated in and I loved it.

The swap had a few suggestions for the swap. I guess I missed the voting time, but I was excited to see things that I could actually make for the swap.  
  • Zipper Pouches
  • Simple Tote Bags
  • Pin Cushions
  • Mug Rugs
  • Pot Holders
I was very excited to sew up a fun zipper pouch for my swap partner and add in some fabrics and findings from my stash. Here's what I sent to my swap partner. 

Here's what I received from my swap partner.  Thank you, Nancy! The zipper pouch is beautiful. 

Thanks to Deby at So Sew Easy for arranging the swap. I will definitely participate in another swap.  I had a lot of fun with this one!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Felt fire set

In the midst of organizing, I found a lost project that was cut out but never sewn together. It's a really cute idea for a felt camp fire from Twin Dragonfly Designs.

I believe I have had this project in the works since last year.  It was a gift for my son.  My son has been asking to go camping for a while and he was kind of excited by it and wanted me to finish it of course.

So far I finished three logs and the main fire piece.  I started the rocks and I need to finish sewing by hand.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Recovering a chair seat

I have had this chair in the house to recover and refinish for years.  No really years!

My husband made a new craft closet for me since I lost mine when my son was born so I was inspired to at least cover the chair I would sit on. In the midsts of reorganizing my fabric I found the perfect fabric. I totally forgot I had purchased it. 

I love the results.  Maybe I will actually refinish the chair sometime soon. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Craft organization: Fabric continued

So I was really inspired to organize all my fabric after making my mini bolts the other day. So much so that I was wrapping fabric around the magazine boards for another session the other night. I decided to categorize my fabric so that it would be easier to find what I need.

I have solids, patterns, flannels and fleece, and other most home decor.  I feel so inspired to see something seeing all my fabric together. It's like my own little fabric store. I realized that I have a lot of fabric. I need a few more boxes I think. One for interfacing and the like and one more for fabric. 

Here's the latest:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Craft organization: Fabric

I've been kind of excited about my organizing efforts. I saw this idea, I found it in So Sew Easy blog. It used comic book boards, called magazine boards, to make mini bolts of fabric.

Fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge. Fold again the folded edge to selvedge.  Place board at one end.  Start to roll up the fabric. One site I saw said to use a pin to hold the edge, but I didn't do that. 

I tried it and was quite pleased. I am planning on having boxes separated by different categories. I was happy to clear out bags of fabric that were piled up in my closet. I can see my fabric. I don't think there is anything more inspiring. 

I used a plastic filing box with a lid. I bought three more and plan on having all my fabric in one place. It's been strewn over the house for like a decade. I'm not kidding. :). Only thing is how to I organize tiny scraps. I will let you know. 

These are the boards I purchased for this project. 

Link to description:

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sew Mama Sew Contest: Something I've been working on...

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying to finish this bag.  It the It's a Cinch bag from U Handbags.  I made it once before with a red and white island fabric.   I made it for the Sew Mama Sew Online sewing contest that happened 2 years ago.

I wanted to make this pattern in a more neutral, and useful to me, more my style for quite some time.  The Sew Mama Sew Online sewing contest is happening again and I decided that it was reason enough for me to make this bag.

It's been a trial this time.  I was all excited to have a bit of time to make the bag and I put it 50% together and realized the hardware that I had looked silly with the straps that I had purchased.  The pattern called for a 1 inch strap which I couldn't find.

So I had to take out a lot of stitches, try to find hardware that would work, wait for the hardware to arrive and try again.  I had another block of time to work on my bag and sewed something I shouldn't have so there was more taking out of stitches.  It took much longer than it should have, but c'est la vie!

The good news is that I am done and I love it!  I used fabric from my stash that I have had for years so bonus there.  I think it turned out really nice and I will definitely use it.  :)

I love this pattern and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in making a bag.  I learned how to sew zippers with confidence and make a bag with some body to it.
Here's the link to buy the pattern. It's a download.

This was the bag in progress. 

This is the bag un- Cinched

This is the bag with it Cinched with the clips and D rings

Contest ends August 28th.

Enter here:

Monday, July 20, 2015

I finished the top!

I finished the top that I sewed for the Sew Mama Sew Online contest!  It was a challenge for me as I had never sewn anything like it before. I pretty much stick to making bags, which I love making.

The fabric was a challenge it was slippery and frayed a lot, but I am pleased with the end result and I used fabric from my stash to clear out my craft closet!  Awesome! Now I need to find a reason to wear it! :)

Here it is!  

My version of the Melly Sews High Low top.  I did a few modifications.  The top didn't lie well on the bust area so I created a slit which was very tricky to manage when I did the bias tape to finish the top edge. I also added bias tape to the sleeves and also I tried to make the top more finished looking on the inside by adding some bias tape on the seams on the inside as well. Hopefully it will not fall apart that easily because I did this work since the fabric frays so easily. 

Next time, I would just try french seams, the bias tape every where made the inside a little bulky, but it was a learning curve.   I've never done french seams by the way, it's on my list to do though someday.

I am pleased that the top turned out at all. It was my first. Now I want to make another! Nothing like a contest to get one motivated to actually finish a project.

Link to the tutorial (if you want the pattern, you can get it on Craftsy or subscribe on her page):

Here's the link to the contest page:

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Making bias tape

So for this sewing contest I really am challenging myself. I decided that I was going to make bias tape for the first time. I am one crazy lady. That's for sure.

The fabric of my blouse continues to drive me crazy.  It's slippery and stretches in odd directions and frays a lot!

The instructions for the bias tape that I followed was by Pretty Prudent. I read and re read the instructions several times before I attempted and was pleasantly surprised that it actually worked. It was like magic. I was so pleased. 

Link to instructions on Pretty Prudent:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Getting rid of some yarn

My husband's step brother was visiting and he was talking about his girlfriend's daughter who likes to knit. And I had the idea of giving her some of my yarn stash. I hope she likes the purple yarn I gave him. I purchased it a long time ago and I hope she has fun with it. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sewing contest

Well, I decided to enter a sewing competition. The first round is to sew a blouse, which I've never done.  Nothing like some good competition to send you farther in your skills.

I used Melly Sews High Low top. I've been looking at it a while and this competition sent me over the tipping point from reading about it to actually doing it. 

I used some fabric from two, count them two, failed attempts at a kimono robe. I've always liked this fabric pattern. While using it for this pattern though, I remembered why I don't like this fabric. It frays a lot!  

I managed to get the bones on the top made with nice lines. The next part, making bias tape from the fabric might be too much, but I think I am going to have to try it anyways. Wish me luck. 

Here's the progress so far. 

Link to the tutorial for this top: (if you want the pattern, you need to subscribe to her site or get it on Craftsy, it is free)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Another of my bags

I sewed this little bag for a friends birthdays at week. I love it! I hope she loves it too. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

An extra large shirt and some more cards

I made a larger shirt like the one I made back in February. I used a new Martha Stewart stencil pouncer.  It made the letters stay sharp. My stencil worked for this shirt, but I don't think it will work for another shirt. 

I also made more thank you cards. It was easy fun and I really needed more to send out! 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Birthday hat!

Tomorrow is my daughters first birthday and I was inspired from a post about a felt party hat.

I used felt from my stash and a hot glue gun that's been sitting unused for probably a few years.  I purchased party hats at my local Dollar tree to use as a base and template. 

Last night I was up with an upset stomach and decided that I might as well do something useful.

I am please with the results.  I think I might have to make one for my sons birthday now!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day/Week May 2015!

This giveaway is closed. Lee won my fabric giveaway.  Thanks for all that entered.  Comments with email addresses have been deleted to protect your information.  See you next time. 

I am happy to be participating in Sew Mama Sew's giveaway day for the second time.  I really enjoyed having you all visit and sending the lucky winner some of my fabric stash, so I am doing it again.

As this blog is about clearing out my craft closet, I am happy to send along a package with fabrics from my stash to a good home. I bought all of these fabrics with no project in particular so they've never come to anything.  I think I was thinking of making a quilt with some and an apron with the red.  I liked the fabric and it was a good deal so I bought it.  I just haven't made the projects.  Too many projects, so little time.  :)  It's been difficult to get projects done around here with the two kids.  I still try to craft when I can.  It brings me so much satisfaction.

My giveaway prize features half yard pieces from my fabric stash.  To the winner, I hope you can find some good use out of these fabrics.  I would love to see what you end up making.  Send me a photo if you remember.  I am tempted to have two winners.  If I have time, I will definitely send out a second prize.  Thanks.  Samantha

To win, please leave a comment below with your email so I can contact you from May 6th to May 10th at 5pm PST for a chance to win.  You can write your email at ____ dot com so your email won't be picked up by spammers.  Thanks.  Winner will be picked by May 12th and notified by May 13th. Sorry no international shipping.

Good luck!

A question for you:
Do you ever buy fabric without any specific intention or do you always have a project in mind when you buy fabric?

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for helping me clear out my craft closet. :)

One of my better ideas on organizing your fabric stash:

Link back to Sew Mama Sew:

Giveaway details:

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Teacher Appreciation gifts

Well, I realized from reading my Facebook news feed, that teacher appreciation week was coming.  (Yes. I spend too much time on Facebook looking at ideas that I could be doing instead of actually making things.  Ha!)

I decided that I was going to make fabric lanyards for the teachers at my son's preschool.  I Google searched for ideas and I came across a lovely tutorial that had a smart way to make it more finished looking.  It comes from the website Ellison Lane: Modern Sewing and Design by Jennifer Mathis.

Most lanyards that I had seen elsewhere made a simple strip and then placed it through a swivel hook or some other attachment and then you would proceed to cover up the ugly loose ends.  Jennifer has an ingenious idea of sewing the ends together before sewing the sides with the swivel hook on it so that there is less of a bothersome ugly portion that you would later have to cover with another piece of fabric or adornment.

I had some fabric left over from a failed sewing project.  I am thinking seriously that I've had this fabric for over 12 years. I loved the swirly blue and purple design and just never could get myself to get rid of it.

The fabric is perfect for my son's preschool teachers.  I hope they like them.  As I have, as usual, limited time, I just chose to make a single fabric lanyard with a strip that was 2 1/2 inches wide by 40 inches long.  I also had 1 inch swivel hooks from when I made this lovely bag by U Handbags.  So I didn't have to purchase anything else for this project.  Yay!  I am actually clearing my craft closet out!  Ok...  It's a small victory, but sometimes you have to take them when you can.  Right?

What should have been a quick and easy project was not.  My sewing machine decided to eat up thread and I spent a good amount of time trying to pull out the clump of thread under my sewing machine foot.  Ahh... It always goes this way when you are short on time.  Doesn't it?

Here are the finished lanyards.   I am pleased with them.  I realized after I cut the fabric that I should have cut the strips to 3 inches so that I could fold the fabric more and not have to worry about sewing up the sides so carefully.  The original tutorial had smaller swivel hooks.

I wanted to personalize them with the schools logo and the teachers' names, but I ran out of time. There's always next year.

Link to original tutorial:

Friday, April 24, 2015

I have to admit

Well, I have tried to pair down my craft closet but I haven't been able to do much with two kids under the age of three.  Things are not moving very fast and I just today added to my craft closet.

I found out about an amazing company in my area in January while visiting my local fabric store (Harts Fabrics) in Santa Cruz (I was picking up ribbon for labels).  It's called Fabmo and it is based in Mountain View, CA.  This amazing company started when a couple realized that when fabric is discontinued the sample fabric is thrown out creating needless landfill waste.  What started as a few bags of fabric in their garage has become a nonprofit company that has a space which offers the creative community an opportunity to use these fabrics for whatever inspires them. This one company alone has diverted 70 tons of fabric, tiles, and more to a new purpose instead of going to the landfill a year.  

In January, I was unable to go, but yesterday I was able to check out what a Fabmo event looks like.  

I brought some fabric home. I have some leather I was going to make into some baby shoes for my daughter, but I was looking for a piece of suede for the soles.  I also found some orange and red scraps of leather for decorating the shoes. I am kind of excited at the prospect. 

I also was able to get some other fabrics which I would never buy in a fabric store because they are over $40 a yard.  The pieces are small but I think they will work well for my little zippered bags that I make.  

I would love to go to another of these events, but maybe once a year.  It will definitely not help my cause to reduce my own craft/fabric supplies if I regularly go to these events. 

I love the idea of this company. It's really a wonderful way to repurpose what would otherwise be thrown out. The company only serves the San Francisco Bay Area at the moment, but they hope to expand to other areas in the future. It's all volunteer based, so if they have volunteers they could expand elsewhere. 

Check out this company website:

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Valentine's Shirt

My daughter has this shirt that says "You make me happy" and when my husband saw it, he said "That's awesome. I want a shirt like that."  I asked him what color and he said orange.

He forgot that he had said that 2 months later when I gave it to him last month for Valentine's Day.  

I typed up the sentence on the computer and printed it out and then, cut it out with an exacto knife in contact paper to make a stencil. Put it on a washed orange shirt and painted white paint on it. 

It turned out great a little messed up, but it is handmade right? He loves it. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentines Craft

I decided to make something for my sons preschool class. I saw a project that looked easy, heart shaped bean bags.  It was so easy! It took me 45 minutes to make 11 of them.

I used some red felt from a Christmas tree skirt that our family didn't like. I could bring myself to throw it away and it was perfect for this project. 

What you need: 
Heart template
Red felt
Red thread
Dried beans
Pinking shears

The details are at the following website: 
Make Something Special

Monday, January 19, 2015

Something I sketched up

I did a sketch a while back of a house.  I thought it turned out pretty good.  It took me 40 minutes. I think I might do more house sketches.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A little sewing time today...

I had a bit of time today during the morning nap of my little one to make this bag.

I have several already cut and pressed bags to sew up. 

This set spoke to me today and I made it really fast. Ha! My toddler pushed the selector which makes my sewing machine go faster. I think it knocked off at least 10 minutes on the last time I tried to sew one if these bags.