Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge: JULY Items SENT

In just a few minutes I'll be mailing off the very first box of completed items for my FY14 Charity Sewing Challenge.

This group (as most) is off to the Fluff Project.

Six dinosaurs!!!

I'm so happy to have them done and off to their new home.

I'm also happy to report all the fabric used was from the 12 lb fabric remnant box.  I used all the batiks in the box.  Ok, not all of it, but as much as I could.  There is still a nice little pile but none of the pieces are large enough to make a full (same color) dinosaur.  The felt for the teeth and the pom pom eyeballs are from my stash.

Show us those adorable toothy grins!!

I'm not sure if the one dinosaur is technically a batik.  I think it might be more of a hand dyed (that blue one there on the right).  But his belly is batik and he's super cute so what does it really matter?

Two of them are stuffed really tight and firm, the rest are more smooshy.  I prefer the slightly smooshier way.  Two of them also have small pom pom eyes.  I like both small and medium pom poms for the eyes but the small pom poms are annoying to sew.  I would have just used all medium sized for everyone but I didn't realize I had used small until I was fighting with them and wondering why it was so annoying.  But by then I was committed to using them so I just powered through.

The pom pom eyes are sewn on, so they should be sturdy enough for kids, but not babies.

The pattern calls for a row of spikes down the back but after I made a few of these I liked them without the spikes so I left them off.  I think just doing that helped keep me on track.  Honestly, the thought of having one more step to get these done was disheartening.  I already feel like I took forever to finish these.

The pattern is from the book "Wee Wonderfuls" by Hillary Lang.

I think I'm going to keep a running list along the side of my blog to see what all I make.  Along with these dinosaurs, I also used some of the fabric to make some quilt squares for a swap.

SO, what's up for next month?


I already have three tails cut and prepared.  I just need to stitch them together.  I also have the fabric tea dyed for the bodies (it turned out really well).  Tonight I'm hoping to get the bodies made.  Again, all the fabric is from the 12 lb Remnant Box.  I'll have to make a post about tea dyeing at another time, maybe when I show off the mermaids?

Along with the mermaids I'm going to try and make a few sea horses.  They whip up really fast and I think I need a fast project to get a better feeling of accomplishment.  I have all that fabric and I haven't even made a dent in it yet!

Ok, time to run off to the post office.

Edited to add:

Shared this post at Cat Patches NewFO Linky Party.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Made for a swap: Favorite animal dotee

Drive by posting to show off the dotee I finished last night.


Poorly lit kitty at that.  It was late when I snapped these pics but I didn't want to wait to document her, lest I forget.

Kitty doll made from kitty print fabric.  I love this fabric.  Best part is, I only had to use a square about 5 x 10 ish to make it.  So just a corner off the YARD of this fabric.  I want to hoard this print forever, I love it that much.  I did the "sew on a folded piece" technique (lazy sewing for the win) and the tail was the bit of fabric left after I cut the sewed cat shape out with the pinking shears.  I like the funky free form tail with a few wee eyes peeping out on it.

I made the face to mimic the faces on the printed cats.  Giant eyes and triangle nose.  I did add a wee tiny mouth because a doll without a mouth freaks me out.  The eyes are embroidered on felt then glued on.

I debated adding a collar or bow or something but decided it distracted from the print on the fabric.

Next up?

A pair of twin dotees and (hopefully) a dinosaur dotee.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Busy, Busy Weekend

Lots to show off in this post.  I was a busy little sewing bee this weekend.

First, I cut 5.5 yards of fabric into fat quarters.  That was all for swaps.

Second, I made a quilt block for a memorial quilt for the family of a woman on the Regretsy forums (who passed away suddenly).  I wasn't personal friends with her (Hermit the Frog/Hooker Monkey) but she did have a lot of personal friends on the site and her posts were always really funny.  Full of monkey gifs and just really fun stuff.  She will be missed.

Of course, lots of monkey images.  She also had a fondness for bacon (so needed some of that).  And in the center I was lucky enough to find an image of a monkey using a computer.  This came from some scrap fabric I've had for a while.  Remember that box of scraps I won about a year ago?  That huge box of scraps and "I Spy Quilts" book?  Yeah, it's from that.  And it was the ONLY monkey image left.  It was right on the cut edge and I was worried it would just fall apart when I washed the fabric (I normally don't pre-wash but for this project it was a must).  So I went out and got a lingerie bag to wash my pre-cut fabric.  I used the trick of pinning the small pieces together with a safety pin.  I took the long strip with the monkey image and folded it over before pinning it, so it wouldn't be able to flop around as much and unravel.  Then I used the gentle setting on my washing machine.  I had very little fraying from any of the fabric.  (oh, and I used a color catcher sheet--love those--but nothing ran).

The green sock monkey fabric is from a fat quarter I've had in my stash for (no exaggerating) years.  It's a Heidi Kenney FQ from Spoonflower.  I paid a premium for it so I was always waiting for the "perfect" project for it.  I'm so happy I had it waiting for me.  This was the perfect project.  And I still have some left over (though it's a bit creased in spots).

Last but not least, I sewed up a mess of fabric bags.  EIGHT to be exact.

Those four are already sold.  Remember that bag I made for a Regretsy swap?  Well it was a hit on the forums and some other folks wanted some.  So I bought some more Star Trek fabric (got it on sale!) JUST to make bags.

Those were $6 each plus $3 domestic shipping.  Not super profitable for anything but that wasn't really my goal.  I just wanted to make back what I paid for the fabric and make a tiny bit for the time it took to make them.  I'll use any "profit" to offset the cost of any charity sewing I do (I'll be sending a box of stuffed toys out next week--got to get cracking on that).

These are left over.  I'm going to save them for now.  There's rumblings there might be a charity sale at the Regretsy forums so these will be great for that.  I still have a yard of each fabric, so I could make 8 more bags (each bag takes a half yard).

Last but not least, I bought myself something super cute and it arrived yesterday (when I was making bags).


How freaking cute is that cactus!!

He comes out of his pot, too (he has great spindly legs!).

I'm so happy I bought him.  I got him from a Regretsy person.  Check out her etsy shop HERE.

It was a great (long) weekend.  I love taking a day off from work just so I can sew.  Now it's time to head over to the post office and mail out a sack of swaps.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dotee for a Swap: Mmmm, Ice Cream

Time to show off a dotee.

This is for the July Unique Holiday swap:

I couldn't decide which of these sub par photos to use, so I'll use them both!

Mmm, ice cream!

July is national ice cream month and there are several different ice cream holidays on certain dates during the month.  I think this here ice cream cone might just qualify for Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day  (on July 1).  I don't know how yummy faux fur is (ok, it can't taste good) but it does make for a creative flavor.

This is one darn cute ice cream, too (if I do say so myself).

The fuzz made it a bit hard to really capture the facial features.  I did trim away a bit of the fuzz around the eyes and mouth but not a ton.  I want the face to be a little subtle.

The ice cream is faux fur that ribs trimmed into it.  It was manufactured that way.  I think the fabric is meant to be used on clothing, maybe to make hand warmers (muffs) or trim on coats?  I'm not sure.  I just grabbed it up out of the remnant bin because I like playing with faux fur but I don't like paying full price for it.

The cone is wool blend felt with hand embroidered waffle marks.  I made the ice cream so it had a bottom hump that would hang down into the cone but I still had to stuff the cone a tiny bit.  And let me just tell you, the cone was the hardest part of this whole dotee.  I can't do mathy stuff at all.  So I had to try and fail a bit making the cone shape (graph paper is my savior) until I turned to google to figure out why my shape (a triangle) just wasn't working.  DUH.  You can't make a true cone shape from a triangle.  A cone is part of a circle.  See, told you I'm not mathy at all.  Once I had that figured out the cone shape was easy.

I wasn't overly concerned with it lining up perfectly since I wanted it too look like a waffle cone (and those things are never completely sealed off at the bottom).

The hangar is just some embroidery floss.  I tried to use my red and white striped bakery twine but after snapping one needle I gave up (haven't snapped a needle in a while).  The tail is just a bead on a string.

But it's a super cute bead.

Duh, what goes with ice cream?  A cow, of course.

I'm very happy with how this one turned out.  I can't wait to mail it off (but I want to send a whole mess of swaps at once so it's just hanging out in my swap box for now).

Next up?

A cat and a dinosaur (walk into a bar. . .)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dotees for Swaps: Cute Stuff!

Time to show off three different dotees that are hitting the mail today.

First up, for the Patchwork Dotee Swap:

Patchwork (or I like to think of it as calico) kitty!

This turned out better than I had hoped.  I knew it wouldn't be that hard to do.  Just make some patchwork fabric then make the doll from it.  Good thing, now I have a new generic dotee template (that gourd shape).  I didn't really pre-plan where the patches went but I was happy white ended up on the face.  That way a pattern wasn't interfering with the face.  The ears are felt (sewn into the seam--so happy they turned out well).  The tail is some cool shiny fabric.  It was a bitch to turn out, but totally worth the effort.  Ribbon for the hanger.

Embroidered nose and mouth with safety eyes.  It wasn't until I finished the face that I realized I had made a quasi Grumpy Cat.  The nose is some of the best free hand embroidery I've done.  I think I do better embroidery when I just relax and let it happen.  Often with fill stitches I try to draw the shape (even if it's simple like a triangle) and then make it all perfect and it never comes out like I want.  Either the stitches aren't close enough or not smooth enough on the edges or just crappy.  This nose had no drawn guideline and it turned out damn good.

Next up is the Summertime Dotee:


Mmmmm, corn dog.  The second pic (blurry as it is) is to show the overall size of the doll and to really see the stick and tail.  The tail is super simple, just a little doggy button on a string.  I figured the stick counted as part of the tail.  The hanger is just some bakery twine.

The corn dog is felt and the ketchup is some cool fuzzy wide style ric rac.  I was going to add a stripe of yellow ric rac for mustard but after I got the ketchup on (it's a combo of stitched and glue--stitched at the top to clean up the frizzed out end, glued down the length) it just felt like too much.

So cute you just want to eat him UP!

I really dig this dotee a LOT.  Since the theme was so open ended I just started thinking about fun aspects of summer.  I was going to make a doll wearing a bikini (or a boy in a speedo) but that was boring.  Then I got to thinking about the things I love about summer and I came up with county fairs and drive in movies and both have my favorite junk food.  CORN DOG!!

Next up (and last but not least) is the Cupcake Dotee:

Two full body shots.  The darker one shows his face better (not so over-exposed) but the lighter photo really shows the color on the bottom.  (both show off the cool bead I bought just for this dotee--it happened to be on the clearance rack for $1.25, which was perfect).

I was going to make a super fancy, beaded out cupcake using just felt as the base fabric but that seemed so boring.  When I was browsing for cupcake pattern ideas (ideas on what the best shapes would be to get the cupcake look) I saw some that were made with felted sweaters.  Hey, I have felted sweaters.  So I cut the cuff off the sweater I've been using lately (I have two sweaters felted but seem to use the one more) and it became the bottom of the cupcake.

Then I went and found the wild wooly fabric I had in my stash and it was perfect for the cupcake top.  Gives it a wild coconut icing look AND looks like hair for the cute face.

(while I was digging through my fuzzy fabrics, I found this funky one that I think I just might have to use to make a soft serve/twisty ice cream cone)

Goofy face is goofy.

I bought a pack of mustache buttons JUST for this dotee.  I figure I'll use the rest for other stuff some where along the line but the idea of a cupcake with a cheesy "trendy" (hell, that trend is over) mustache amused me.

This dotee is cupcaked out.  The hanger is even cupcake.  Cuppy cakey goodness from top to bottom.  Could you just gag!

All three are off to the post office in just a few minutes.  I hope they're all well received.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Grab Your Bag!

What have I been sewing lately?

Cloth shopping bags.  The really easy ones from the template at Green Bag Lady.  I like that template.  You can choose to make the bags nicer by sewing the handles and then turning them and double rolling the inside seam to make it super neat or you can make them loose and fast and just serge the handles (no turning) and just fold the top once.  You can also alter the length of the handles.

I did all of that for these two bags.

This was my "fast and loose" bag.  I didn't double roll the top edge.  But I always sew and turn handles.  I'm used to turning things so it's no big deal.  That and I have zero experience with serging, so that's that.

The Star Trek one is for a swap.  Kind of.  It's for the regretsy swap.  Not exactly an angel but a kind of "make up" pressie.  I could have just told the person to suck it up (since they did get a gift from their partner) but that's hardly in the spirit of my FY14 Charity Challenge, right?  Yeah, I know that's more for the box o' fabric (and this star trek fabric was not from the box) but let's be honest.  I had a full yard of this fabric so I could spare enough to make this bag (the bag takes about 1/2 to 3/4 yard).  I still have some decent sized scraps for my own use (which will probably be quilty stuff).  And I already used a bit for some quilty stuff (some is in my postage stamp quilt and some is in a quilt square I made).  It's better to use the fabric and make someone happy (and get some sewing practice) then to just hoard it until it gets dry rot.

And just look at that bag.  How effing cool is that?  I'd crap if someone made that for me.  And (to be selfish again) it's going to be cheap to mail off.  I'm planning to make another small item (or maybe two) to go with it and get the package out in the mail on Friday.

This bag is for a swap bot swap.  It's a simple swap of cloth shopping bags.  I double checked that the Green Bag Lady tutorial would be appropriate for the swap and go the OK, so I sewed ahead on this one (it doesn't even assign partners for another week!).  I did double over the top on this one so it's nice and neat.  The handles (on both) are triple stitched with the center stitch fully back stitched (so it's almost like it's quadruple stitched).  I made the handles WAY longer than the tutorial calls.  Personally, I like a longer handle since I like to put the bag over my shoulder.  The tutorial calls for 18 inches long but that puts the bag right up in my armpit and I'm a sweat-hog so the bag gets musty if I'm carrying it for any distance.  Eeeww.  I think these straps are more like 22 inches or so.  I don't know for certain since I was using a scrap.  I didn't have enough fabric to make matching handles for this bag (only had 1/2 yard of this fabric).  You might not be able to see it in the pic but the handles are a yellow chevron print.  I was worried it wouldn't work but once it was all together I really like the look.  The whole bag is kind of loud and FUN.

Once again, this was some fabric I bought on a lark (because it was fun and probably on sale) not really thinking what I'd ever use it for.  And once again, I have a nice scrap piece I can still use for my own devices.  I just love the images on this fabric.  The one pic (it's on the lower right side of the bag) is a woman with two babies.  She looks so much like Lois Griffin (Family Guy) that I smirk every time I see it.  All the images go well on a re-usable shopping bag, too.  There's a butcher and a baker and a baybsitter and a dentist and milkman.  The colors are super bright and fun as hell.

The Star Trek fabric was from Joanne's.  The other fabric was from  I think it's called "Who you going to call" (or something like that).

I hope my swap partner likes it.

Swaps Received: Junker Jane Inspired Doll

Show off time.

This is the doll I received from the Junker Jane Inspired Doll swap.

How groovy is she?

Yeah, that groovy.

My swap partner caught the Junker Jane feel perfectly (as far as I'm concerned).  But also added their own twist with the glittery lips and popcorn on the hands (look close at the top pic to see them).

I love this doll.  Her face is so expressive and she's just FABULOUS.