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Entries in sewing (6)


So Daddy can keep his cool


Have you met my brother? That's him, the punk rock listening, Harley-Davidson riding, bad ass truck driver that spent the second half of his formative years tormenting this pesky little sister. And I adore him. I think he is hilarious and I know he's not nearly as tough as he shows.

Fast forward about 20 years and suddenly he and his brightly spirited wife are expecting a baby. A baby! That guy is going to HAVE A BABY TO CARE FOR. Holy shit. I mean, I'm sure he can do it, but I can't help but remember all the times he frightened me to the depths of my being and we were just going to see his girlfriend. I was about 8 and he was about 17 and he had been left with the responsibility of babysitting me for the evening. His girlfriend lived a few towns away and of course that meant miles of winding back roads for that freewheeling teen. I still shudder when I think about a particular single lane bridge over a creek nestled in a cornfield on Sauerkraut Lane that my brother would hit at such speed we would launch into the air and land with just enough time to squeal around the sharp elbow turn narrowly missing a hand built stone farm wall. We lived, and I'm sure his baby will too. Somehow.

The nightmares still haunt me.

But he's my brother and I wouldn't be the incredibly accepting individual I am today if it hadn't been for him. So what kind of gift do you make for that guy's baby? That guy that loves to be a bad ass. I mean he can't walk around with some fluffy fleece blanket with tiny giraffes speckled across it. He just can't. So I made this blanket and burp cloth set, because nothing says baby like black with skulls. Good luck little one.

perfect for baby


DIY: Sassy & Simple Knitting Needle and Crochet Hook Cases


Are you knitting needles shoved in baskets in your closet? Are your crochet hooks hiding at the bottom of tote bags? Then follow this tutorial on how to make a set of these Coordinating Needle Cases. They're fast, easy and can be made from scraps of fabric. Give them as a gift with a pair of needles tucked inside or keep them all for yourself.


1/2 yard of cotton fabric in solid color (A)
1/2 yard of cotton fabric in coordinating print (B)
1.5 yards 1" velvet ribbon
1 spool thread
Tape measure
Sewing gauge ruler
Iron and ironing board

You can choose to work on the cases individually or in tandem. Be sure all fabric is washed and ironed before you begin.

1. Cut - From Fabric A, cut two 16.5 x 15.75 inch pieces for exterior of knitting needle case and one 11 x 5.25 inch piece for crochet hook pocket. From Fabric B, cut one 16.5 x 9.25 inch piece for knitting needle pocket and two 11 x 9.5 inch pieces for exterior of crochet hook case. Cut ribbon into two 18" pieces for knitting needle case and two 9" pieces for crochet hook case.

2. Make Pockets - Fold and pin 1/2 along one long edge of pocket pieces. Iron flat.


Match the cut edges of the pocket to the matching edges of one of the exterior pieces with right sides facing you. Mark for pockets, with stitch gauge measure and pin 1.5" from left raw edge. For next pocket and following two pockets measure and pin 1" to the right from previous pin. Continue measuring and pinning increasing the measurement by 1/2" for larger pockets. If you have mostly small needles then make mostly 1" pockets, for a collection of larger needles create 1.5 to 2" pockets. Stitch at each pin from folded pocket edge to raw edge back-stitching at each end.


4. Attach ribbon - Match ribbon edge to right edge of exterior piece with top edge of ribbon. The top edge of the ribbon can be visually centered on the needle case. Pin with wrong side showing. Pin the second piece of ribbon, right side showing, with bottom edge 1/8" from the top edge of the first piece of ribbon. Stitch 1/4" seam back-stitching at both ends.


5. Sew case together - Pin exterior pieces with right sides together making sure not to catch ribbon in pins or stitching. Stitch 1/2" seam around perimeter leaving a 2" opening on left side being sure to pivot at corners and back-stitching at each end.


6. Turn, sew and iron
- Trim corners. Turn work right side out. Stitch opening closed by hand with needle and thread. Press seams and edges flat.


7. Fill and enjoy!




A comfy new bed

I was laying out ideas for a project, went to the kitchen to get some orange juice and when I returned things were not as I had left them. Someone moved in.

That's not a new bed, Lola


Join me

I have a huge and underwhelming fascination with the idea of doing chores around the house. Laundry makes me crazy. The dishes can make me cry on any given day. And don't even talk to me about scrubbing the toilet. Did I mention I am known among family to have an immense hatred for the vacuum cleaner? I enjoy being at home, cooking and doing domestic hobbies but please, never, EVER accuse me of keeping a good house. I am not a housewife, a homemaker or other such female pejorative. I am allergic to housework. Violently.

Which leads me to my new website, Housework Rules! (to be said with the thickest sarcasm you can slather on). Go, check it out. Find new ways to avoid daily chores with inspiration and products from your favorite hobbies including knitting, cooking, gardening, scrapbooking, sewing and paper. I know I'm not alone. I know you hate housework too.


Is it Friday yet?

Monday morning

Here it is Monday again. We're all having a rough time getting started. The weekend went by too quickly and I don't think we've had enough time to recover. Friday started with a fun night of baking, drinking and playing Wii. Well, the guys played Wii while Jane and I talked about everything from unnecessary vodka packaging to Jazzercise moves. Jane says I no longer look like a marionette but rather a Rockette! Sadly I am a tiny bit too tall to be in the famous Rockette lineup, but I'm sure if I let them know I was available they'd change the height requirements just to let me perform.

Saturday was busy, Thomas and I ran errands where I tried to convince him I need one of these. My efforts have not been successful. But we did see the Matrix or maybe it was part of the Trench Coat Mafia, not sure. This guy was in a full-length black trench-coat. Did I mention it was an absolutely perfect 72 and sunny? I guess that's why I like going to Fry's with Thomas - for the ever-exciting people watching. We moved on and had sushi for lunch. Later we met up with a group of friends for a crazy night of cocktails and dinner.

On Sunday things didn't slow down. I got up for 8:15 am Jazzercise and even stayed for a second class immediately following the first. (I got overly excited because on Saturday I fit into a pair of pants that had been obscenely tight in previous months.) I came home to a recumbent Thomas so I decided to snuggle in and work on my knitting. I've been working on the Manos del Uruguay Four Seasons Throw.

Four Seasons throw - block 3

Block 3 is really throwing me for a loop (pun intended). I don't normally make many mistakes on my knitting but thanks to Thomas tying me to a chair and propping my eyes open with toothpicks just to get me to watch a TV show he likes, I got all out of order on my rows. I was marking down that I had finished rows three ahead of where I currently was! It's his fault. I know it.

Even after minor defeat I was still feeling crafty and decided to haul out my summer skirt project. A few weeks ago I bought the Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt pattern from Sowing Sisters along with a cute fabric by Kitty Yoshida.

Barcelona Skirt

The pattern is a lot of pieces but it was a lot of fun to sew. It's fully lined with muslin and nearly done. I just have to stitch the hems. I hope to wear it on Wednesday, I know all my knitter friends will be so (sew?) excited about it! I wish I could sit down and finish it right now, but my Monday morning list of things to do is long, but I know I will power through it all because this charmer greeted me when I let the dogs out this morning.

First ripe strawberry