***10% of all proceeds are donated to The National Institute of Mental Health and Kansas City Public Television through my Jack of All Trades Crafter Etsy Shop.

***Donations made to Birth Without Borders and Little Dresses for Africa through my Baby And Bloomers Etsy Shop.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

More Out of Town Yarn

I visited Yarns Downtown and I really liked it. The shop had a wide variety of yarns and a little sitting area for knitting. I was looking for wooden, size 7, 16 inch circular needles and they were out, so I ended up buying some metal ones. Since I'm out of town and desperate to knit I decided to buy them anyway.

Out of Town Yarn

I'm currently out of town for the holiday and have checked out a yarn shop called "In The Making." The salespeople were very nice and helpful. One was teaching a woman how to knit and I don't even think there was a class going on. I love knitting shops that help you with projects, so I wanted to include them here.  Although I have a huge stash of yarn, I  bought a skein of Chocolate Vintage by Berroco. It's at a reasonable price and I plan to make my son a little vest. I will start working on this when I get back home. Enjoy the shop! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Rowan Colourscape Scarf

I'm currently working on all my unfinished knitting projects. One includes a scarf using the Rowan Folk Book. As many of you know I love the colourscape yarn. It's hard to knit with a solid color now. kaffefolk.jpg

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Purse... I think I can

So, as many of you know, I'm making homemade Christmas gifts. One of these is a purse for my mother in law. I don't make purses that often. I didn't think it was going to be so complicated. I never have dealt with cording before, or instructions that don't tell me to match "right" or "wrong" sides. I'm all about simplicity, but I need more information. So, after making one mistake after another, I've decided to blog out my frustration. 

I was almost finished but ended up sewing the bag wrong to right sides, which meant my lining was actually inside out. What I learned is that some things you just need to modify and figure out from experience. I decided to get rid of the cording all together (Hey, I need it done by Christmas). AND sometimes you just make one mistake after another. I haven't destroyed the fabric yet. Good luck to all of you encountering the homemade Christmas pressure. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baby Doll

My daughter liked my raggedy old doll with closeable eyes so much that she wouldn't put it down. The doll is in such horrible condition that I had to make her one for Christmas- a gift I wasn't thinking of making her. So, my mother took me to the local craft store and we bought doll body parts (sounds worse than it is), stuffing, a Simplicity pattern, and fabric for an outfit. I also had to use some help from the "How to assemble..." website. Putting the doll together wasn't very difficult. I used elastic around the limbs.

Making the doll clothing was another ordeal. Elastic ruffled doll sleeves..... yeah I didn't think it through. I used Velcro instead of buttons since my little one will only be 12 months old soon.  I recommend lots of patience and hand sewing. Sewing the coat was actually pretty easy. I did it all by machine. I used flannel and "pretend" buttons by appliqueing circles onto the coat. This was made with lots of love and I can't wait to see my little baby's face when she sees her new baby doll.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Works in Progress

I decided to decoupage and paint a canvas for the fabric cross. It's still unfinished. 

I've also started to make more ornaments using big bold flowers for the decoupage fabric element. I can't wait to finish decorating them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kaffe Fassett Decoupage Hair Clip

I LOVE Kaffe Fassett, so it would be natural for me to start using his fabric in my projects. I absolutely LOVE this clip. If it were a pin, I would keep it for myself. I used decoupage on the fabric with card stock and applied pressed flowers. Then I gathered the tulle and attached with hot glue. Any other ideas on how to attach tulle to decoupage? Please let me know.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pressed Flower Ornaments

I've been on a creative streak and found some pressed flowers in my craft box. So, I decided to use the technique described below. BEWARE- this takes lots of time and patience because the flowers are so delicate. I already lost a few. I recommend using a brush to put on the glue. I think they look gorgeous!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Deck the Halls!

Decoupage Christmas Ornaments

I’ve just become the biggest fan of decoupage. I used scrap fabric from last year’s Christmas projects to make these ornaments. This was a very easy project.

Time: a couple hours to create, plus wait time to “cure” the glue

Supplies needed:
Fabric of choice (with holiday themes or pictures you can cut out)

Glass Ornaments (I bought a pack of 4 at Hobby Lobby that were more flat than cylindrical for ease of gluing).

Elmer’s Glue or Fabric Glue
Decoupage Finish (I used Royal Coat)
Quality Paint Brush or foam sponge (I used a paintbrush for acrylic paints)
Inkjet printer for any special words or messages
Wet sponge


1. Create special words or a message in a document, then print. I used the words "Peace, Love, Joy," and "2011."

2. Glue the text from your inkjet printer using Elmer’s or Fabric glue (THIS PREVENTS THE INK FROM RUNNING- DO NOT USE DECOUPAGE FINISH). Put the glue on the back and then stick to position of choice on ornament, then brush glue on front.

3. Let sit overnight to dry.  The next day you can cut out shapes to put on alternate side. Use the decoupage glue on the fabric, backside first, glue to position, then brush glue over fabric.

4. Use a wet sponge to wipe off excess glue.

5. After glue has dried, continue to put more fabric elements on ornament, or leave as is. Be sure to use the decoupage finish over the inkjet words/message after the Elmer's/Fabric glue has dried. This seals it in.

6. You can put ribbon or other decorative elements inside the ornament, if you like.

According to decoupage instruction, it takes about 4 weeks to “cure,” so if you want to make these, I would start today. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Holiday Bubble Skirt

Holiday Bubble Skirt

I like to use special fabrics for baby clothes. If I mess up, then I know I didn’t spend hundreds of dollars to make something I cut out wrong. This is a no-risk pattern if you’d like to make something special for that little girl in your life. :)

Supplies Needed:

Pattern for the Little Girl Rufle Skirt (you can purchase in my Etsy shop).

Velvet for front and back of skirt
4” wide band of Brocade or other special fabric for length of bottom band of skirt
Tulle to put in bottom of skirt

Fabric to match main fabric color (I used black, since that’s what I had on hand for the brown velvet).  This will be a band 1.5 to 2 times the width of the outside fabric band

1. Print out pattern and match up lines (tape using scotch tape) then pin pattern on fold and cut 2 times, one for front and one for back.

2. With right sides together, match up the front and back of the skirt and stitch.

Make casing for elastic

3. Fold top of skirt ¼ inch (DO NOT PRESS SINCE IT IS VELVET) Then fold fabric 1 inch over the previous fold (this will be the casing for the elastic). (DO NOT PRESS).

4. Top stitch the fold at the bottom of the edge, leaving a 1 inch opening at the back for putting in the elastic. It is somewhat hard to stitch the velvet, but be patient and just do you best. This is a very forgiving pattern.

5. Put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and use this to put the elastic through the casing. Pin the other end together with safety pin to desired waist band. Put on child to check for sizing. Loosen or tighten elastic to desired fit, then re-pin. Trim elastic and then use a zigzag stitch over each end of the elastic to secure. Topstitch the opening closed.

6. With right sides together, put the special fabric band and skirt together. (Be sure to sew strips together if they are not long enough to go around the entire skirt). Topstitch together. Turn.

7.  With right sides together, put the special fabric band and inside skirt band together. (Be sure to sew strips together if they are not long enough to go around the entire skirt). Topstitch together. Turn.

8. Using tulle the length of the bottom of the skirt, place inside between the special fabric band and the inside skirt band. I just folded the tulle I had on hand and cut it to length. I only used two folds. You do not need to stitch this in place.

9. Use a whip stitch to connect the inside band to the main part of the velvet skirt (pin in place). Be sure that the special fabric band is slightly turned towards the inside. Be sure to stitch small stitches so that they do not show in the front. You may notice larger stitches on the inside, which is normal. I stitched by hand in about 30 minutes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Little Girl Ruffle Skirt

Little Girl Ruffle Skirt (Size 21 inch waist and another pattern for 24 inch waist).

Since I have extra fabric from quilting, I decided to make my daughter another Christmas gift- a skirt. Please read all directions first before proceeding. If you have questions, please leave me a comment.

Supplies Needed:

Pattern (click on my Etsy shop)

Fabric for skirt

8” band of tulle for ruffle, double the width of each side of the skirt

Another band of fabric, 4 inches wide and two inches longer than the width of the skirt

Thread, sewing machine
Pinking shears (or you can zigzag stitch the edges)
3/4” non roll elastic, length of waist plus 2 inches (23 inches if making skirt for 21 inch waist)

Coordinating ribbon, an inch longer than the width of each side of the skirt.

Time: A few hours

Machine Washable/Dryable: Depends on your fabric. If using tulle, I would put it in a garment bag and wash on cold/delicate cycle and you can dry low for a few minutes or lay flat to dry.


1. Cut out pattern on fold (you will cut twice, one for front and one for back).

Create the side slits (You can skip this part. I like side slits so my little girl can crawl, but you may find that you don't need them).

2. Fold in sides of each side of the skirt 1/4  inch, then another 1/4 inch, for 3 inches (or desired length). Do this for all four sides, only for 2-3 inches or desired length.

3. With right sides together, sew the front and back of the skirt together, making sure not to sew up  the sides of the skirt slits, but sew a little bit over to enclose the sides of the skirt. Secure the ends or double back machine stitching.

4.  Trim edges using pinking shears.

Make Casing for Elastic (see pictures for help)

5. Keeping wrong sides out, fold top of skirt 1/4 inch, then press.  Then fold fabric1 inch over the previous fold (this will be the casing for the elastic), and press. 

6. Top stitch the fold at the bottom of the edge, leaving a 1” opening at the back for putting in the elastic.

7. Put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and use this to put the elastic through the casing. Pin the other end together with safety pin to desired waist width. Put on child to check for sizing. Loosen or tighten elastic to desired fit, then re-pin. Trim elastic and then use a zigzag stitch over each end of the elastic to secure. Topstitch the opening closed.

8. Turn right side out.

Make ruffles

9.  Make  2 separate strips of ruffles from the tulle. In order to make the ruffle baste stitch two parallel lines at the top of the ruffle, then pull the bobbin threads to create the ruffles to desired length of skirt sides.

Finish the edges of the 4 inch fabric bands

10.  Fold under 1/4 inch of the 4 inch fabric, then fold under another 1/4 inch and then topstitch.

11. With the right side of the 4 inch fabric ruffle on top of the tulle ruffle, top stitch along bottom basting ruffle. You are sewing the ruffle and 4 inch fabric together before attaching to the main part of the skirt. Do this twice, one for the front side, and another set for the back of the skirt.

12. With right sides together, put the ruffle/4 inch fabric band and front of skirt together.  (Right sides are meeting at the bottom of the skirt). Topstitch together. Repeat for back of skirt.

13.  Then, topstitch or use a zigzag stitch to secure the back of the ruffles.

14. Topstitch your ribbon to each side of the skirt to cover the stitching for the ruffles. (Fold in each side of the ribbon before stitching). Be sure to secure the ends. 

15. Press where needed, being sure not to press the tulle.

Put on your little girl and go! :)


I've learned that crafting and exercise create a great balance in my life. I've recently started Tai Chi classes and this has been tremendous in strengthening my body and my mind. I had twins almost a year ago and was on bed rest for 3 months. It has been a long journey back to where I want to be physically. My teacher, Chen Huixian, is an excellent instructor.  If you have not tried Tai Chi, I recommend you look into it. My entire body feels cleansed after class. And this enables me to focus more on my sewing. :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Just for Fun

I knit this baby sweater for my son using Rowan colourscape yarn in camouflage. I LOVE this yarn. I used the pattern "Baby Chunky Pullover," from Knitting Pure and Simple. Check them out. A few years ago I made myself the adult version. It's a very nice and easy pattern.

Baby Leg Warmers

I made these leg warmers for my daughter, who is almost 12 months old, but is wearing size 24 months. The length goes slightly above her knee to her ankles. If you need to add length, or prefer leg warmers that go higher up the thigh, knit the extra rows before doing the decrease rounds. I also like my gauge a little tighter to keep out the cold. You may want to use a size 8 needle for a looser fit. I thought these would go perfectly with one of her skirts, still allowing us to buckle up her car seat and keep her legs warm. I’ve washed and am now blocking the leg warmers. I will put finished pictures up soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Fabric Cross

I've been wanting to hang a cross in my home for a while. Since I have all this lovely fabric, I decided to make my own to hang up. This is not a finished project and I haven't decided how to proceed next. I'm thinking of either decoupage or putting it on a canvas.

Grocery Bag

I have learned that my children love to play with items that aren’t toys. So, I’m creating my own “not toys.” I am in the process of sewing up food items and I needed a grocery bag to go with them. 

How to create the grocery bag:

Supplies needed:
Canvas (sides of the bag and the bottom).
2 different types of fabric (one for the outside and handles, second for the lining)
Bag Pattern Pieces (Check Etsy shop soon)
Sewing Machine and thread

Time: about 2-3 hours

Machine washable/dryable: Yes!


1. Iron fabric.

Cut Fabric:
For the outside of the bag:
2. Cut 4 strips of 2 x 10 inches, using the fabric for the outside of the grocery bag(for the handles).

3. Cut 2 rectangles of piece A and B for the outside of the bag. 

4. Cut 1 rectangle of piece C for the bottom of the bag.

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the bag lining.

6. Cut 2 rectangles of piece A from the canvas.

7. Cut 1 rectangle of piece C from the canvas.

I like to use a disappearing marker to mark my pieces.

Outside of the bag:

8. Next, pin (wrong sides together) the canvas pieces to the corresponding sides of the grocery bag (outside fabric).  (These are pieces and C). Stitch using ¼ inch seam allowance. 

I like to cut out my fabric all at one time, pin as much as I can, then sew. This makes it easier for me when I have to watch kiddos and cut fabric at the same time.

9. Pin piece C to piece A (right sides together).

10. With right sides together, pin piece B to each side of piece A.

11. Stitch using a ½ inch seam allowance.

How to sew up the bag:

12. With right sides together, sew the edges around the bottom of the bag using a ½ inch seam allowance.

13. With right sides together, sew up the sides, using a ½ inch seam allowance. (Be careful to match up the seams).

Follow steps 9-13.


14. Pin and stitch (right sides together) each side of the 2 x 10 strips together using a ¼ inch seam allowance.  Be sure to leave ends open. Trim edges. Then, use a safety pin and attach it to one side of the strip. Push the safety pin up through the middle of the handle, pulling it right side out.

15. Press handles.

Putting it all together:

16. Turn the lining so that right sides are facing out. Place the bag (the outside part with the canvas) inside the lining, wrong sides facing out, matching up with the wrong sides of the lining. Make sure that seams are aligned, then pin in place.

17. Sew using a ½ inch seam allowance. *Leave one side of bag open so you are able to turn it.

18. Turn bag and check seams for closure. Press bag where needed.

19. Be sure to press top of bag, where lining is.


20. Take handles and fold under ¼ inch on each edge and pin 2 inches in from sides of bag (1 inch between handles). Do this on each side of bag.

21. Pin opening on bag closed (turning under to match up with the rest of the lining).
22. Topstitch or use decorative stitching around entire bag to secure handles and close opening on bag. I liked the wavy design that my machine has and decided to incorporate that. Be sure to double bag on ends or knot with needle

Now give to your little boy or girl! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cupcake Applique

My daughter's first birthday is coming up and I wanted to make her a special outfit. I made her a red, blue, and yellow tutu and wanted to create a matching shirt. So, I drew up a cupcake applique and it went from there. If you'd like to create this yourself, just click on the link to my Etsy page to purchase the pattern.


How to create the cupcake appliqué:

Supplies needed:
3 pieces of scrap fabric (I like to use flannel for the frosting)
1 button
iron on interfacing
rick rack
cupcake pattern pieces (click on my Etsy shop)

Time: about an hour if done by machine

Concentration needed: some during blanket stitching

Can be done with kids in the room? First 7 steps can be (if children do not have access to iron).

Machine washable/dryable: YES! (Can steam fabric beforehand. I would wash the finished garment on cold if mixing pink/red colors with a white fabric, just in case).

1. Print out cupcake pattern.

2. Trace designs onto iron on transfer paper (you can buy by the yard at fabric stores).

3. Cut around designs (not on lines yet) and place on fabric choices for each piece.

4. Iron on designs (fusible iron side on wrong side of fabric).

5. Cut on lines you’ve traced for each piece.

6. Arrange pieces onto shirt (or other material) as you like.

7. Peel off backing for cake, place on shirt, and iron on.

8. Continue to iron on pieces, with the cup second, frosting third, and button last.

9. Blanket stitch by hand or machine (or satin stitch around edging). I like to use a machine blanket stitch because it is fast and looks more homemade. You can make the frosting “pop” by using a contrasting thread.

*If you satin stitch you will need to use embroider interfacing in the back. Also, you will need some sort of knit fusible backing so it’s not scratchy for a youngster.

10. Be sure to double back on the blanket stitch or hand knot the beginning and end. 

11. Sew on the button. Make sure it is secured tightly so it is not a choking hazard.

12. Stitch on the rick rack with a straight line stitch on the ends and down the center.

13. Trim the thread ends and voila! Put  the new shirt on your child. :)