Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmastime Is Here!

I had the opportunity to design a Christmas card for a fun couple before Thanksgiving.  Jennifer has ordered some invitations from me in the past and I was excited to design her these unique Christmas photo cards!

Aren't they precious?  And the Christmas cards are so fun, too!

If you'd like your own totally customized Christmas photo card (that means that you don't just personalize it, but I make everything designed to your requests!  From the design elements to the colors to the photo placement to the font!)

Same deal as for baby announcements - for $30.00, I work with you and create a card that we can totally redo one time.  After that we can tweak certain elements within reason.  I then finish up and send you a printing ready .jpg of your photo card!

I can design them to any size specifications you wish, but standard photo cards are 5x7 and fit A7 envelopes.  We can fit 2 - 4x8 cards on one 8x10 photo sheet, and these will fit in a standard number 10 envelope.

Don't forget - I can now take your credit card!  If you want to choose that option, please email me to find out how to safely give me your card information!

Don't be shy - step right up and get your Christmas cards here!

Talkin' Turkey

Last year, for my daughter's first Thanksgiving, I made a precious little brown velveteen jumper with gold buttons and featuring a turkey applique made from her very own tiny hand print.

This year I was planning to make a new jumper in a different color and tack on her same little precious hand turkey from last year.

But I happened to meet up with a friend for dinner while at a seminar in Charlotte last week, and when I saw what her daughter was wearing, I knew I had to make her something similar.  The best part was that it was a t-shirt dress, and so ended up being about 90% less work than a dress from a pattern!

How cute is this dress?  With it's sweet double ruffle and turkey appliqued from the same print, it was perfect, perfect, perfect for the mild weather we had for Turkey Day this year.

Here is my little applique up close.  I created it on a piece of fleece so that I could simply tack it on  and remove it after Thanksgiving.  I thought the dress was too cute on it's own - plus it's still big - to wear just that one day.  But I just free-handed a little turkey body and feather on an index card and used them as my pattern.  A little yellow corduroy for the beak (and I meant to add a red rick-rack waddle, but forgot) and two mini-button eyes and you're in business!

And here's my little turkey in her turkey dress.  See what I mean about how big it is?  I modified the dress my friend's daughter was wearing.  It was so cute but without being able to look at it, I couldn't quite remember how it went.  I know hers didn't seem so long, so I'm guessing that her aunt, who made it for her, might have cut off the bottom of the tee before sewing the skirt on.  I just left the shirt completely in tact.  Hers also only had a single bottom layer, while I opted to do a double skirt.  Her turkey was also a little more free-form applique, where I went for the very structured tight zig-zag stitch edge in order accommodate having it act more like a patch.  Her dress looked a lot more boutique-y...Mine looked like ya Mama made it.  But that's ok.  I'm definitely going to get better at it, because this was too cute and easy not to try again for Christmas.

I just need the right fabric for that skirt...

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't be such a square

It's the Friday before Thanksgiving.  Six days until fried turkey and mashed potatoes and mac and cheese and a dessert per person (if you're at my house, that is).  It's also one week til Black Friday, and that makes me think of one thing:  CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!

So I am happy to announce this week before the onset of the official Christmas shopping season that I can now accept your credit cards thanks to a little company called "Square"!

This is going to come in *so* handy since I end up creating so much stuff that is very custom and never really makes it to the etsy site, and not everyone feels like writing a check or trying to get cash to give me.  Plus, so many people love how using a credit card helps them to keep an eye on their holiday spending and can also protect them in case of theft or damage!

So contact me today for your Christmas card or gift orders!!!  And although Hanukkah is December 1-9, I still have time to get you a gift in time for the 7th or 8th day if you order this week!! 

I am feeling the need to scratch my creative itch, so help me out by throwing me a fun project, ok?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Inspiration - Fairies

This sweet little green glitter fairy is neither pin nor ink, but she will be the inspiration for many projects in both genres over the next 8 weeks!  As hard as it is to believe, my Lilah will turn 2 at the beginning of January and due to her dedication to a fascination with Tinker Bell, I have decided to have a Tinker Bell/Fairy/Woodland Fantasy birthday party.  I'm knee deep in ideas about pixie dust and enchanted forrests and I couldn't be happier.  My husband, on the other hand, is a little irritated that she doesn't have an unhealthy attachment to Spiderman.  I assured him there is still time, but that I'm afraid she's going to be a little prissy girl and all his efforts to make her otherwise may go unappreciated.

So send any ideas you have to make my Lilah's fairy/woodland/sparkly/floral fantasy dreams come true!  I'm currently cooking up some ideas for invites, though I doubt they'll top her first birthday invites, that were fashioned after Elvis' 1970's jumpsuits...

I have one day got to learn a lesson about setting the bar so high...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gifts for Babies

I'm in the middle of my own personal baby boom, and let me tell you, it doesn't do much to cure ye olde baby fever.  But I'm having so much fun sewing for all my sweet friends and sharing the results with you!

First up is the parcel of gifts I made for sweet Reilly - whose Mommy also received this pillow case from me!

What you see is two burp cloths (with some sweet, sweet birdie flannel), a dipe and wipe case, a monogrammed onesie and a paci protector with one of the pacifiers she registered for.  I think the best thing about this type of gift is that it is ALL useful.  These are all gifts I got myself and loved, and to be able to create them on a personalized level for my friends is so, so sweet!

The burp cloths are super simple.  Take your flannel and either cut it to fit the length of the center panel or across the bottom.  You can do appliques or monograms or anything else to embellish.  And for appliques, you don't need a special machine!  I do plenty of free-handed appliques and they are just as sweet and special as anything you can machine stitch.

I used this great pattern for the dipe and wipe carrier.  If you know someone having a baby, it really is a great quick gift and you don't have to have advanced sewing skills to complete it.  And your friend will love it.  LOVE.  This was gifted to me by another friend, but there are several free tutorials with patterns floating around that I'm sure would be just as simple.

Next is a sort of "off the hook" gift.  Very heartfelt.  Very personal.  But the machine does all the work!

One of my dear friends had her second daughter last week, and has always loved monogrammed items for her older daughter.  So I thought I'd get her started right with this sweet little pantsuit!

Annabelle Catherine is her name!  How pretty is this purple monogram?  So totally a gift full of love, but I feel a little bit like cheating because I don't do them by hand.   

Does anyone else feel a little like they cheat on something they're known for?  Use Bisquick in a lauded baked good?  Pre-shredded potatoes in your "Nana's" hashbrown casserole recipe?  Does that make them any less special, or us just a little more resourceful? 

You tell me!


I have a sweet friend who I have been meaning to make something for since forever.  I have a million project ideas for her and her kids, but this is the project that I was finally able to sit down long enough to complete in a timely manner (aka before anyone grew out of their gift.)

How cute is this Curious George set?  Another dear friend gifted me this leftover fabric when she was cleaning out her stash.  I have been hanging onto it forever, and it wasn't until my own daughter developed an unhealthy love for Curious George that I realized I had to do something with it.  And what better than this little simple "pillowcase dress?"  I used Simplicity Pattern 2383 and let me tell you:  This is the pattern to have, people.  Two pattern pieces if you go super simple.  Three if you get all "wild and crazy."  I am going to be making so many of these that you are going to get sick and tired of seeing them.  But just try not to make them!  That's how easy they are.  They practically make themselves!

But back to the George fabric.   I wanted to have the three kids (two girls and a boy) have something matching but not TOO matchy matchy.  So I decided that red would be the tie together for all the pieces!

I started first with the 4-year-old's dress.  Big print, because she's a big girl!

Next was the 2-year-old's dress.  A smaller print but with the same red accents as big sister's dress!

Finally was a little something for baby brother.  I just picked a fun picture from the biggest print to make him a little applique long sleeve onesie.  I really wanted a  red onesie or shirt to match the accents on the sister's dresses, but every red shirt in an infant size had something "special" on it already!  Boo!  But I think this turned out really great!

 And of course, my sweet little lover of Curious George also got a dress to wear.

 She calls it her "Georgie Dress."  Sweet girl.  I switched out the contrast red for a sweet little yellow dotted cotton with a yellow ribbon that features white stitching accents.  I love yellow, but I can't wear it, so I'm so glad that I have a sweet little one who can wear it on my behalf!

One of the best things about this type of dress is that it's a dress now, over a long sleeve shirt.  It's a dress in the summer over a short sleeve or alone.  And eventually, it's a little top.  This thing will last for YEARS!

Pillow Talk

I know it's been awhile since I posted.  It's because I've been sewing.  And learning about natural childbirth for my upcoming Lamaze training.  And sewing.  And scrubbing my house top to bottom to beat Christmas at it's own game.  Did I mention sewing?  Expect a bevy of blog posts in the next few hours, because I've finally gotten some things finished and photographed and gifted and now I can share!!!

This post, however, I am dedicating to the wonder that is a pillowcase.  You saw in my previous post that you can turn one into a dress/tunic/top.  But did you also know that you could turn them into bedding for your favorite little girl's baby doll?

I didn't either, until someone recently asked me to do just that!

The sweet lady who got my job at the university after I quit to have Lilah contacted me recently about sewing up some baby bedding for her one-year-old granddaughter's baby crib.  The fabric she had chosen?  Real, live pillowcases!  It makes sense, right?  I mean, it is bedding, afterall!  And I think the results were just great!

Out of two pillowcases, I was able to make a pillow, a top sheet and a little "mattress cover" for a piece of foam that fills that role.

And of course, how can you resist a little monogram on the pillow for the custom-made bedding??  You can't.  That's how.

I made the pillowcase and mattress cover in the same style as you would a sham:   by having overlapping flaps in back so that it would be nice and neat when full but could be easily opened and taken off to wash if necessary.  I cut the "top sheet" from the open end of the pillow so it would have that nice finished top edge; the other three raw edges were just hemmed.  I then added a little row of the eyelet below the pretty finished edge of the top sheet, et voila!  Custom baby bedding for your princess's princess!!

NOTE:  Be sure if you're using a piece of foam for your mattress and pillow that you cut your fabric slightly larger than the dimensions of the bed; you'll have to have enough room for them to slide in and over the thickness of the foam.  You have a little more wiggle room if you're going to use fiberfill for the stuffing, but you will need to remember that to wash your bedding, you'll have to wash the whole thing, and that can take a while to dry and can get bunchy!!

Keeping with the baby theme, I'm happy to share the next usage of a pillowcase:  Semi-Birth Announcement!

With a little embroidery and a cute ruffled eyelet, this pillowcase becomes a gift for mom to take with her to the hospital (or birth center, or to keep at home!) so that everyone knows what's going on in her room!

I first saw this in some hospital photos of a friend when she had her baby 3 years ago.  I thought it was such a cute idea and was so SO cute in photos.  They had not yet decided on the baby's name, so it just had the "It's a girl!" part, but was still just so fun.  I decided I wanted to gift my own version to a friend who is due with her first baby in just a couple of weeks!   Imagine a pic of newborn Reilly longways on this pillow!!  How cute could that be?

Now I will say that the option without the name has it's own fun; my friend passed the pillow to her sister when she had her daughter earlier this summer, and then used it again when her second daughter was born last week!  Such a sweet gift to share with a sister or sister-in-law or any family member or friend to whom you are close!

You could even do them for friends who've decided not to find out the gender, with a sweet message of "Welcome Baby ______" on a neutral-colored pillow!

They aren't in the etsy shop, but if anyone is interested in a pillowcase for a gift or for themselves, please send me an email at  I'd be happy to make one up in any color combination I can find!!  Price is $18.00 plus $5.00 s&h (or pick-up in the greateer Greenville, SC area; cotton sateen pillowcases available for $25.00 plus s&h.)

So much to do with a pillowcase!  Do you have a favorite project that starts with a pillowcase you can share?  I'm always looking for new ideas (like I don't have enough to do!)