Kitschdesigns

Summer Sewing Reads–Part 3

July 7, 2011 03:14 by ehouston

And, the reading continues.  Unfortunately the writing has slowed to a snail’s pace.  As I mentioned in Part 2, I got through all of the library books I borrowed last month in a week, but I am still caught up in the projects.  Several are due back this Saturday, so I have been frantically trying to copy project instructions and patterns before giving them back.  I know, I could just check them out again, but I am trying to be nice and let someone else have a chance at them.  Plus, if they sit here much longer I will probably end up making everything, even the things I don’t want or have a place for.  I guess that would not be the worst thing that could happen.

Okay, let’s get to the last book from my first big library haul in years.  Celine Dupuy’s, Simple Sewing with a French Twist. 

Simple Sewing with a French Twist: An Illustrated Guide to Sewing Clothes and Home Accessories with Style by Celine Dupuy: Book Cover

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

To start, this book has wonderful photographs and some really fun project ideas.  To be honest, some of the projects are not realistic for how I live, but I will definitely incorporate parts and pieces into other crafty things that I do.  For instance, the trench coat with butterflies is absolutely adorable, but the idea of walking around with butterflies hanging off of my clothes just seems kind of ridiculous.  Don’t get me wrong, twenty-something me would have been there in a heartbeat.  But, this thirty-something, mom thinks I would look like one of those hacks that believes they still fit, and look good, in clothes from Hollister and Forever 21.  (please note: this author has never actually purchased any items from either of those stores.  not just because they are impossibly sized, but because they are incredibly tarty.) 

CelineDupuy-ButterflyJacket

(Image taken from Simple Sewing with a French Twist)

Cute, right?  I know, it’s pretty tame when you see this image from the book, but not only would I feel goofy in it I’m sure the temptation would be just too much for the Little Guy.  Those things would be ripped off in zero point two, if you know what I mean? 

CelineDupuy-Ottoman

(Image taken from Simple Sewing with a French Twist)

The ottoman fabric alone is to die for and I am seriously considering making this little guy.  Like all the other sewing books I have been reading lately, the fabrics used throughout are just unbelievable.  Apparently, they are also not available in your average sewing store.  I feel so inspired to make pretty things, but have been stifled by the lack of really cool patterns in the big box shops around my humble abode.  I need to spend some time searching online and I am planning a little “local” road trip to visit some of the higher end fabric stores in the area.

CelineDupuy-ButtonChair

(Image taken from Simple Sewing with a French Twist)

Now, this chair was one of the projects that I thought was totally awesome!  Celine includes instructions on creating a button covered piece to slip into a gallery chair.  Sooooo, cooooool!!!  Wish I had a spot for something like this in my place.  It’s making me think I need to spruce up my ugly office chair.  Hmmmmm….

All in all, I really liked the illustrations of the instructions in this book.  They seemed pretty easy to follow.  I also really enjoyed looking through the beginning sections of the book that list stitch types, hems, seam types, how to layout and cut patterns, etc.  They took actual photographs of what they were doing and it’s very helpful to see the real deal they are describing.  The one tip that stood out for me from this book, was from Celine’s tool kit.  A magnet!  Yep, something so simple you just don’t think about it and when you see it listed you realize it’s the best idea ever!  How many times have you dropped a pin or needle and spent what seems like forever searching for in in the carpet?  Magnet = genius!

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Attempts At Embroidery And My New Sewing Blog

June 27, 2011 07:23 by ehouston

Many of you have heard that I have decided to open up my alterations shop again, so to speak, and try to bring in some fun money while attending to my Little Guy.  I also mentioned that, among other things, I have been enjoying a rush of creative crafty urges.  One of which I wrote about last week, here.  All those sewing books inspired me to try my hand at embroidery.  I know, what am I thinking?  With little patience I have gone into this figuring I would not make it much past my first little piece.  But, so far, so good.  I have managed to work on piece 2, 3 and 4.  Once I am done I hope to create a wall hanging, art piece.  I wrote more about my attempt at embroidery over at my sister site, Chic Tweaks Alterations.

Anna Maria Horner

Image taken directly from Anna Maria Horner's Blogspot

I just cannot get enough of her cool embroidery!

TableclothEmbroidery

Embroidery Project Progress

Check it out and leave comments about your attempts at this painstaking, but often relaxing process.

Kitsch Krafts


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Summer Sewing Reads–Part 2

June 23, 2011 07:23 by ehouston

I managed to get through all four of the books I mentioned here last week in under 5 days. However, I did not return any of them on my weekly trade out trip back to the library. There are just too many cool projects to try, so I am keeping them as long as I can. Even though I have not started any of those projects yet I wanted to go ahead and let you know about one of the last couple of books I brought home. Lotta Jansdotter’s, Simple Sewing is pretty cool.

Lotta Jansdotter\'s Simple Sewing

Image from Chronicle Books

Lotta’s book is filled with fun projects and super cool fabrics. (I keep searching, but I have yet to find anything close to these cool patterns for a price that I can afford. Especially for home crafting. wuh-wah!) For me, the home projects were the most inspiring. But, while I will most likely create my own take on her patterns, the information she provided about proper fabrics for different uses was invaluable. I guess I never thought about how flammable typical cotton is, which is what I had picked out of my stash for some oven mitts. Rut-Row! I just figured that the handling would be minimal and it could take it. I am guessing that my hard work would have gone down in flames, or at least some nasty singes. So, I am on the hunt for wools and linens to make these the right way. Oh yeah, another thing I have to search for! I am considering customizing her pattern for the Simple Drawstring Backpack to accommodate the few things I need when taking my toddler somewhere I would rather not lug the whole baby bag or stroller. Lotta’s version is cute, but I think some extra interior pockets or dividers to keep things organized would be helpful. Especially when you are trying to get to something, like a snack, fast before you have a toddler thrashing around on the ground in front of you. This is definitely another book that has inspired me to take care of some of the lingering issues projects around here. One last comment on Lotta’s book involves the styling of the photos. I found a few of them kind of odd or funny. Maybe it’s just something lost in translation, eh?

LottaJansdotter-Backpack

Here is the cute backpack I would like to modify. The picture of someone peering into a closed window raised some eyebrows around here.????

LottaJansdotter-Manbag

I love the elephant print of the bag on the left, but I cannot think of a single guy I know who would be caught dead holding that thing. Maybe, only maybe, if it was being used for baby supplies could I see that happening.

LottaJansdotter-Placemat

I have to think that showing a plate full of peas on a placemat outfitted with chopstick slots is supposed to be tongue in cheek. Right? This isn’t some kind of crazy Seinfeld episode, is it?

I will have to report on the last book I completed in a post next week. With all these projects to finish I am a little behind on, well, lots of things these days.

;o)

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Sucked Into The Creative Vortex

June 17, 2011 06:07 by ehouston

It’s true, I have been sucked in and cannot seem to get out.  If it weren’t for my extremely busy schedule of errands and play dates to socialize my child we probably would never leave the house.  So many things are on the backburner that I’m smelling smoke.  But, I had to do it.  I was so inspired by these sewing books and one of my burners had some unfinished art projects boiling away.  So, in my usual unfocused way, I jumped right in.  I am attempting to do some embroidery sans the punch tool I told you about here back in February.  One of those sewing books had some embroidery stitches listed, so I thought maybe I could enhance one of my little wall hangings with some hand sewn goodies. 

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I pulled out a couple of my vintage “cutter” tablecloths and an apron.  I think the color combo is going to be really fun.

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If all goes well I will be posting the finished project for sale in my etsy shop.

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Summer Sewing Reads–Part One

June 15, 2011 07:01 by ehouston

I finally remembered to get signed up for a library card.  This was only after attending a Mommy, Music and Me class at a local branch weekly for almost three months.  For some reason I never could remember to bring the application form, I had downloaded and completed at home, in with me to finalize the transaction.  All is well, though, since I ended up finding a branch much closer to our house and we are now making weekly visits not only for books, but music and videos too.  And, the one week limit on the videos is a God send!  Between what plays for the Little Guy in the car during our weekly errands and what I allow at home, I end up pretty tired of whatever is the current obsession.  Right now that would be Thomas the Tank Engine, otherwise known in our house as TOM!

Last week I decided that the Little Guy would not be the only one to benefit from our weekly excursions to bookland.  I wanted to get my craft on and bone up on my sewing skills.  Being late to the game on nearly every trend I also wanted to finally check out all those cool sewing books that have come out over the last few years by several trendy fabric designers, turned author.  I guess I am the only one, which suits me just fine, since everything I wanted was right there for the taking!  I was able to bring home Amy Butler’s, In Stitches, Anna Maria Horner’s, Seams To Me, Lotta Jansdotter’s, Simple Sewing and one other I had not heard of before, Celine Dupuy’s, Simple Sewing with a French Twist.  Eye candy to say the least and if I had perused these in a book store I would have probably dropped a lot of cash just to bring them all home and really take some time with them.  Fortunately, my library card saved me so much dough.  Here is a quick review of what I have discovered so far:

Image taken directly from Amy Butler's Site

Amy Butler’s, In Stitches has been a lot of fun to read through.  Although it states that it’s geared toward the beginning or intermediate sewer, I did find that some of the instructions and descriptions were a little difficult to follow.  However, after reading through things a couple of times I could usually figure out what she was trying to convey.  I just don’t know if I could have gotten to that end point if I did not already have a history with a sewing machine.  Otherwise, I really enjoyed how the book was stylized and of course it was all put together in a way that made me want to redo my whole house.  Wah-wah….  Since we are not quite ready to sell, I decided that I would try my hand at the ruffled pillow on the front cover to spruce up our formal living room.  She also included instructions for a pot holder, which has inspired me to get off my duff and create something nice for our kitchen, as well.  I have been complaining for months that our oven mitts look like they are used for gardening and we are in dire need of a few trivet style hot pads for the table.  Why it never occurred to me to make my own is, well… beyond me???  As soon as I get to those items on my never ending to-do list I will be sure to share the results.  In the mean time, I would recommend her book and her site for inspiration of your own.  I am also going to try to hunt down her other books soon!

Seams To Me

Image taken directly from Anna Maria Horner's site

Anna Maria Horner is a designer I have been following for some time through her blog.  Her life seems like that out of a creative person’s dreamland.  A lovely family, home and a super fun job!  I’m sure it’s not all hunky-dory all the time, but it’s fun to live vicariously through her words and photos.  Plus, like Amy Butler, Anna Maria creates some wonderful fabrics.  I am currently reading through her book, Seams to Me, and it has really helped me come to the realization that there are much better ways to do some things.  For instance, her instructions for binding a quilt were, at first, confusing, but when I realized where she was coming from it all clicked.  For years I have been that person trying to match up the front and back sides of seam binding tape in order to catch both while stitching through the edge of a quilt.  Outside of sewing the whole thing by hand it had never dawned on me to sew down one side with the machine and then hand stitch the other side for a nice finished look.  I know, I know….you are all letting out a resounding DUH!, but I am totally self (and a little mom) taught, and it simply had not gone through my mind yet.  Her instructions are very easy to follow and she adds some funny little quips throughout.  I would highly recommend this book to someone that wants to sew, but has never attempted it before.   I am not finished with this one yet, but so far I think I will be jumping on the Cozy Cubes and the Pin Cushion Caddy projects to help tidy up my sewing space.  Plus, they are both easy projects that require little fabric and will help me incorporate some of my vintage bits into my space.  Yeah!  Free book, free idea, and with my supplies on hand, free item for my home!  You know me and the budget…hee!

I hope to do more than glance through the other two books before the end of the week.  As soon as I do, I will get the second part of this review posted.  That is if I don’t get to sidetracked by fun sewing projects between now and then.  What are you guys working on this summer?

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News Headline: Possible Death By Craft Fair

October 30, 2008 01:56 by ehouston

At least that is how I am feeling this week.  One down and one to go.  I really do enjoy attending these events, especially when I meet great people and see other cool crafts.  I met several other Etsy sellers at the small church craft fair I attended last Friday and I hope to meet more at the event this Saturday.  These two were a hoot!- Lori Long and Megan Wilkes, owners of Happy Monkey Art.  They create clay sculptures of hysterical little scenes.  You just have to check out their shop to see what I mean.  Megan also paints and has another shop for her art called, Thru Aries Eyes.  Sarah Paddon, a jewelry artist, was there too, showing off really nice pendants necklaces.  Check out her Etsy shop Cottage Island Creations.

I have decided that prepping for a craft fair is a bit like getting ready for your wedding.  My husband and I planned and paid for our entire event, so maybe this is not a shared feeling with those that could afford a coordinator or had a mother that took over.  But, either way, I would guess that no matter how much planning you do it never seems like you have it all finished.  I keep running around and thinking of new things to make and then I have to remind myself that there is no more time.  Or, I realize there is another task I have to complete to ready what is done for the event and again I realize I am out of time.  Just like the night before my wedding, I reminded myself last night that no matter what, every little detail will not be exactly as I planned it.  And, that's all part of the fun, right?  Luckily I thought of that a couple of nights before this event...;0)

Here is my mini-booth set up for the church fair last week.  It was a family festival, so I just concentrated on my baby and kids items and advertised for the other fair I am attending this weekend.  I will have my full booth at the Saturday event with lots of holiday products, and I will add those pictures later. 

 

 
Stroller Blankets in Vintage Fabrics, Tooth Fairy Pillows from a Vintage Quilt, Changing Pads, Play Mats and Baby Quilts in Reproduction Vintage Fabrics, and Onesies, T-Shirt & Bloomer Sets, and Cap and Onesie Sets with Vintage Baby Images.  

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Working, working, working away!

August 29, 2008 05:05 by ehouston

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I just wish I could whistle while I work, but unfortunately I have never been able to make much more than a sharp single syllable note (if you can even call it that) come out when I try to whistle.  So, it would be the most monotone song to ever permeate this home, and I think the dog might even have to leave the room.  ;0)  It's okay, though because I have the radio and my imagination to keep me going.  I have been working on more bags lately and have added several to my shop, with more on the way. 

Right now I am working on an embellishing job for several little canvas backpacks that I bought years ago.  I had other plans for them at that time, but they never materialized.  I am glad for that, though, because I think this project is much cooler than I what I had originally set out to create.  I hope other people feel the same way and enjoy them too!  I am having wonderful fun with fusible webbing and vintage fabric scraps.  I wish I had jumped on the fusible webbing bandwagon a long time ago because I think it might be one of the most wonderful inventions of all time.  Unfortunately, I was not a card carrying member until recently because I remember the stuff my mom tried using when I was little and it never seemed to work.  I cannot tell you how many hems she tried to "cheat" on by fixing them with something called "wonder under", I believe, and as soon as you washed the garment the hem would come right back out.  I guess this product has come a long way.  Uh-oh, I am feeling the beginning of an iron-on patch craze around here.  Never mind my bad whistling, if the dog does decide to stick around she might just get a new fusible webbing accessory.  Watch out Rox., the iron is hot!

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

E


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