Playing Catch Up

Oh blog, how I’ve missed you. Over the last few weeks I’ve thought of plenty witty remarks and opening lines for this post, but now that I’m sitting here at my computer none come to mind. Oh well, I guess the important thing is I’m back and posting.

What crafty goodness have Anna Mae and I been up to over the last month? Let’s see….oh yes! That’s right! Miss A turned five and I threw a spectacular Madeline-themed party for her. If you’re unfamiliar with the Parisian adventures of a little red-headed girl named Madeline, you must immediately catch up here. And here’s the sweet girl’s face.

I am so sad that I didn’t get as many fab shots of the party as I had hoped. But here’s what I did get.

With 288 balloons, countless floral pins, and an 18-inch straw wreath, I made this birthday balloon wreath (tutorial here).

Despite the multiple “you’re making what and why?” comments I got from Dan, I’m happily please with the end result and look forward to bringing it out and proudly displaying it on our door signaling future birthdays.

And I went all out this year and had a wonderful lady named Betsy on Etsy (hey, that rhymes!) custom design invitations and other paper products for Miss A’s 5th! The banner is my favorite. I cut out all the pieces and sewed them onto an aqua ribbon to hang over the mantle.

I’m sad that I didn’t get bigger picture of the banner as it hung from the mantle, but it now hangs in Miss A’s room.

And then, there’s the food. I am so very lucky to have such amazing and loyal friends! They came and helped me cook and set up the amazing French-inspired menu. Without them guests would have arrived to haphazardly thrown together croissant sandwhiches and a slew of sides just out for the taking. I instead served a fabulous table full of beatifully prepared and absolutely delicious food. Again, so so sad that I didn’t get a picture of the table. But I did get a picture of the chocolate cake I baked and the super yummy cupcakes I got from Lovely Confections.

I was so very happy to have been able to throw such a special party for Miss A. In years past, we’ve always had her birthday at my parents’ and I was always limited by budget and not wanting to mess up my mom’s house too much. However, this being the first year we were living in a house with a beautiful backyard and plenty of space, I couldn’t help but go all out for her.

And I know that Miss A and our guests had fun and appreciated it. In fact, here’s a pic of Miss A. rocking out after singing her happy birthday.

Oh, and then there’s the fairy garden. Aaahhh…..this is amazing. One of our family friends is so very talented in all things gardening and whimsical. She made the most beautiful fairy garden for Miss A’s birthday. While it was a gift for Miss A, I find that I might even play with it more than she does.

There’s been lots of other sewing goodness happening these days, too. But I’ll save that for my next post.

Until then…

🙂 E

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Finished Sprocket Pillow

The sprocket pillow is finished!

Though after taking this photo I decided it needed more stuffing. So I stuffed it some more and gave it to Miss A on her birthday.

She loved it.

Must make more sprocket pillows.

🙂 E


Help Me Sewemily, You’re My Only Hope

One day shortly after setting up my sewing room, I came into the room to hang out with Anna Mae and admire the beginnings of my ever-growing fabric stash. It took me a second or two to spy this sitting on my cutting table.

The note is a little fuzzy, but it reads, “Help me sewemily, you’re my only hope.” Dan, who is both a CU and Star Wars fan, left this old and well-worn CU hoodie for me to fix the seams on the pocket that had ripped. I was surprised that he trusted me to fix the beloved hoodie!

So the first thing I had to do was buy some matching gray thread. Once I had that, I then had to switch out the bobbin. I don’t know if you know this or not, but Anna Mae’s bobbin and I have already had a few go-rounds.  The first time I tried to re-wind it with my sewing-expert friend Melissa at my side resulted in a trip to the sewing-machine doctor. The second time I tried was successful, but it was only successful after an hour of frustration, research, and a curse word or two. This third time was successful but with a lot of wasted thread.

But I was so very proud once the bobbin was threaded and we were ready to fix the hoodie! Here’s the pocket all stitched up and ready to hold things once again.

And here’s the hoodie in its full CU Buffalo glory. Go CU!

The hoodie is now happy and must have spread the word that sewemily and Anna Mae can fix garments. The next day, I came into my sewing room to spy a pair of pants asking to either be shortened or Dan to be taller.

I guess our next adventure is in hemming.

🙂 E


Here Sprocket!

For those of you who watched Fraggle Rock as a kiddo like I did, you may recall the curious and fluffy sheepdog named Sprocket. If you don’t remember Sprocket, here’s his profile on Muppet Wiki and a picture.

(Image courtesy of Muppet Wiki)

Man, I loved that show! I even found a DVD of the first season and bought it for Miss A who also now loves that show. “Dance your cares away, worries for another day…”

Anyway, you may be wondering what this has to do with sewing. Well, there’s a pillow shape that shares the same name as the beloved Sprocket. They are called Sprocket pillows, and that’s what I’m planning for my next big adventure with Anna Mae. If you don’t know what a Sprocket pillow looks like, here’s a good example. In fact, those sprocket pillows are exactly what inspired my next project.

And here’s the fabric I’m going to use. Do you see that sweet little kitty smiling in the right-hand corner of the top fabric? He’s my favorite!

Now, I just need to find the time to get sewing. Until then…

🙂 E


Coming Down From My High

I’m coming down from my high…my sewing high, that is! I finally finished my first sewing project a few days ago and am finally coming down from my sewing high. Here it is! A cute little tote to carry around library books, snacks, extra clothes, or whatever else might need toting.

 

Minutes after finishing it, I showed Dan (well, to be honest, I first victoriously danced in my sewing room for a few minutes) and put it on my shoulder to model. While I was excitedly telling him all about how I made it, I mentioned my sewing high and he actually spit his water out laughing at me. I still don’t understand what was so funny about that, but anyway…

Along the way, I learned a lot. I mean a lot. For instance, I learned…

to hold my threads out to the right for the first few stitches,

and to always check that the right sides, or actually I should say correct sides, are together before stitching to avoid having to rip out each stitch and starting from scratch. Ugh.

And I learned how to make a boxed corner to add a little space in the bag. I’m particularly proud of this one.

I also learned to not cut myself with the rotary cutter. Don’t worry, it was only a small nick and, no, I didn’t take any pictures.

Oh, and I can also add these to my list: changing my needle when I hear that certain thud it makes each time my needle goes down, threading the bobbin successfully (and I stress the use of the word ‘successfully’ here), ensuring the presser foot is down before starting to sew, and lots of other important and useful things.

I am now so much more comfortable with Anna Mae and have grown to love working with her. I took a sewing class at the beautiful and inspiring Fancy Tiger and sewed on a nice, new Janome. Even though it was much newer, shinier, and had fabulously fancy stitches, it was no Anna Mae. I came home to my vintage Singer, and I felt at home and comfortable with her. So I’m now eagerly looking forward to our next adventure together.

(Reminder to self: Find a new theme and layout for the blog that is more “sewemily”…soon.)

🙂 E


Welcome to sewemily

For months I’ve wanted to sew. I’ve seen so many beautifully hand-crafted quilts, dolls, and clothes made by incredibly skilled folks, and I wanted to get in on the action. However, without having ever used a sewing machine, I wasn’t sure where to start! Enter Melissa. She’s my ever-talented friend who also happens to be a fantastic sewer (I have a feeling that is not the right word!). She came to visit and she helped me figure out where to start…which interestingly enough is with a sewing machine…go figure!

So I had my grandmother’s vintage 1964 Singer Touch & Sew serviced and we were ready to sew! Meet Anna Mae, named in honor of said grandmother.

Meet Anna Mae

And next was a stop at the fabric store. If you’re ever in Denver, you must visit Fancy Tiger Crafts. According to Melissa and other reviewers, the folks at Fancy Tiger  have the most fantastic modern selection of fabrics. I chose a few that spoke to me to start with.

And finally, we got to the sewing. Well, actually, we finally got to the sewing after catching up over a few good meals including a stop at Snooze for brunch. But I’ll spare you the yummy details.

We had just enough time for Melissa to show me the in’s and out’s of basic sewing and the beginnings of a tote bag…which I will finish soon and post the final product.

I’m looking forward to my sewing adventure and being able to share it, my lessons learned, and finished products on my blog. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll even be good at it.

🙂 E