I'm Janimal, happily gainfully employed Momma to a sweet girl. Livin' it up in Atlanta with a great husband and a good job. Sometimes I make stuff and here's my spot to show it off! Life is good, so I'm sharing....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bowling Dress, Popover Tutorial Update, and a Question.

I think I am addicted to the Popover Dress pattern. I just made another one. Here is the "Bowling Dress".

The retro bowling fabric purchased from Whipstitch on their Etsy shop. I used premade bias tape also purchased from this Etsy seller. Free pattern for the dress is here. My tutorial with pictures following the pattern is here.
I HAVE AN UPDATE to the TUTORIAL! -- The cutting instructions have you fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge, and the main pattern piece on that center fold. BUT - for the smaller sizes, you don't have to waste so much fabric. As it is, you need a yard of fabric, but really, you can just use a half. Instead of placing the pattern along the center fold, fold the fabric again. So instead of it being folded in half, it's now folded into quarters. Place the fabric along the QUARTER folds. So when you cut, the two main fabric pieces are side by side.

I got this fabric in the mail (superfast! I ordered Saturday and received it Monday!) and had to make Delilah a little outfit from it immediately. You see, her Daddy is quite the bowler, and I figured he would get a kick out of this little dress. I do actually own some other patterns now. But I needed some quick satisfaction with this dress. I wanted to get it done, so I could show my dear husband, and dress up my dear child. I know this pattern so well now I think if I were stranded on a desert island with some fabric and a needle & thread, I would occupy my time making Popover Dresses!

There is one other Popover Dress in the works in my sewing room. Then I think I will have to stop making them for a while. To be honest, Delilah spends most of her time in playclothes these days. She's an active toddler and we dress her to move and shake and have fun. She's at an age where she is experimenting with coloring and paints, gets a little dirty in the playground, and she needs freedom to be herself - an awesome constantly moving toddler!

There will be more Popover dresses in the future. The pattern has bigger sizes so it will be in my repertoire for a while! As Delilah grows I suppose I will be using more "sophisticated" prints. But for now, these whimsical prints are just so much fun!

So - now - a question.

I purchased from Embroidery Library a little set of classic cars embroidery patterns for my embroidery machine. I stitched them out on to squares of muslin so I could see how they turned out.

And I love them.

But now what to do with them? I thought about sewing these into little cocktail napkins as a gift for my brother. Perhaps stitching one in hot pink on a shirt for Delilah.

I sure do love machine embroidery, but I have a hard time knowing WHAT I should be stitching on and WHERE to place the designs I stitch.

I would love suggestions!

Later skater,


PonyTails and FishScales

make it wear it

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Exec Producer Dog, Toy Story Pillow & Other Stuff!

I'm so happy today! USA & England both advance in the World Cup!
Here are some pictures of other things making me happy today!

First up, our doggy got a new kerchief. Sometimes he goes to work with my husband when he's in a "dog-friendly" editing studio. We figured if he's going to work in broadcasting, he needs a title. So here he is:

(He doesn't like getting his photo taken.) The kerchief is a corner of a sack cloth towel. One cut and a quick run through the machine and Ta-Dah!

This weekend we had dinner with some dear friends. Before dinner, they took their two (awesome) sons to see Toy Story 3. Since I so seldom get to make stuff for boys, during Delilah's Sunday naptime I decided to ignore the dustbunnies I should have been tending to and rushed to my sewing room. Here is Woody stitched out on a badly stuffed pillow.

Each boy got a pillow (both with Woody, I almost did a Buzz Lightyear but didn't want to cause a stir with two different pillows) and on the back I included their name. Here they are, right before we rushed out of the house. Notice they haven't been sewed shut.

I took a needle and thread and stitched them closed in the car on the ride over. Which I don't recommend. Ouch! The boys seemed to like them. Which I liked.

Anyway, I just love having an embroidery machine. I recently received a bunch of hand-me-down shirts for Delilah and decided they would be perfect for embellishment with my machine. It's not as scary that I might mess up my project when the supplies are free!

First up - a classic Minnie Mouse on a pink top.

I do NOT like that there is a pacifier in this photo. They're still around for bedtime only. But if you can ignore the pacifier, check out those pants. I made those too. And the bear. The bear was cut from a sheet, stitched by hand, and stuffed with cotton balls when I was bored over Thanksgiving weekend at my in-laws and foraged the house for supplies. He's a bit funny looking but Delilah loves him, which makes my heart happy.

Now in this picture, we have another hand-me-down shirt with a balloon embroidery on it. (design from http://www.urbanthreads.com/) Notice my excellent mothering skills that my toddler is wielding her toothbrush.

And now scrap all that good mothering nonsense when you see this next photo.

Yep, she's in the dog's crate.

Time has been limited so no new tutorials these days. I have some in mind, so please don't give up on me. Thanks for stopping by!

Later skater,

PonyTails and FishScales

Friday, June 18, 2010

Giveaway Winners and MANLY sewing!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway. I have picked the winners! THREE winners listed at the end of this post.

Now for some MANLY sewing! I recently discovered a new store - Whipstitch. There is a storefront in the Atlanta area, which I MUST go check out. But there is an online store too. I bought some MANLY fabric to try and make something MANLY for my hubby for Father's Day.

Ok - nuts and bolts on fabric? Too cool. And I swear it's cooler in real life.

I ordered three fabrics and actually squealed when I got them. SO pretty. There are so many cool fabrics in this shop. I love all three I ordered more than I did when I saw them online, and MUST buy more. I am giddy about visiting the shop!

Anyway, what to make for the love of my life?

A potholder of course!

(another blurry Blackberry photo - which actually might be making my work look better? Blurry may be my wonky stitching friend!)

See, men cook too. My husband is great at Shake n Bake and Mac N Cheese. And we have to protect his fingers when he is channelling his inner gourmet. My tutorial for making a potholder is here. Although this time, I made the potholder square and tried to square up the corners. They aren't awesome, but practice makes perfect and I'll keep working on it. I am however, pretty happy with the square quilting I stitched. I just used the presser foot as the guide and it worked out great. The backing and bias tape binding are an unbleached cotton muslin.

Also for Father's Day, from the NBC store I bought hubby this hat:

(He loves this show -Friday Night Lights)

And some tickets to see a comedian we both like. AND - he's playing golf Saturday and being taken out to breakfast Sunday morning. (After he finds his silly TP message, haha) He's a wonderful Father and he deserves to have a nice Father's Day weekend.

Now to the giveaway!

I decided when I posted the giveaway that I would pick 3 people to win. The first person to comment, the last person to comment, and one random. I think more winners is more fun!

So...the first comment was this:
CupCakeCutie said...
very sweet of you. Loved the picture of your little girl. I just finished a ton of destashing projects so some fabric or ribbon would be cool. It's always fun to see what other people pick out.

The last was this:
Lil' Miss Handy Pants said...
If I won I would want YOU to pick so that it would be a surprise....I love the not knowing part:) jessicaleeperkins@hotmail.com

And this was my random pick:
Jenna Wood said...
We could use a 'sleeping' 'not sleeping' door hanger for the nursery!six_one_nine_girlie86 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Congratulations! I will choose your prizes over the weekend and mail them off as soon as possible after I get your mailing info. Jenna, you may have to wait a little but for your prize because I have to figure out how to make it!

IF any of you have any ideas about projects I can sew for a MAN, please let me know. I had a hard time thinking of something I could make for my sweetie - would love some ideas!
And as always, your comments are so appreciated. Each one is like a piece of chocolate!
Have a lovely weekend everyone.


Decor Mamma


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Diva Potholder Tutorial

The quilted diva potholder tutorial!

*****don't forget to enter my giveaway, ends Friday*****

My local chapter of the ASG (American Sewing Guild) recently got together for dinner and for fun we did a potholder exchange.

Ok, here's the disclaimer. I am aware there are already a bunch of great tutorials out there on how to make potholders. I think if I had paid more attention to them before I made mine, they may have turned out better! But as they are, I was pretty pleased with them, so I am sharing how they were made. (And, I think it's important to get the right stuff in the middle to make them heat resistant, and I'm pretty sure I did that right at least!)

(And if you are looking for other potholder tutorials, how about these. This one has good pictures and quilting instructions, and handsews the binding. This one is really pretty and has a pocket for your hand, and because they are totally square, the binding would be easier.)

So without further ado - Ta-Dah!

Now, I'm not a quilter. (Which my amateur binding clearly displays.) But quilting a potholder I can handle. Let's pretend I didn't put the loop on the bottom right when it should go on the top left, k?

First, you need supplies. I started with two squares of cotton fabric, 10' x 10' and a package of double fold binding tape. The black backing fabric is a twill, thicker than quilting fabric to give my potholder some body. Regular cotton would be fine. I chose the diva print because I thought it would be interesting to quilt around the ladies. It's important to use cotton, because other fabric blends may melt when in contact with heat. (So also use cotton thread. Polyester may melt!)

Also needed, the batting for the middle. Now this is the important part. For a good heat resistant potholder -- one that is functional as well as pretty - you need TWO different kinds of batting. Cotton batting, and insulated batting. I found Insul Brite sold by the yard at Joann's, Hancock's, and Hobby Lobby. Insul-Brite will reflect the heat to protect your hands from the heat through the potholder. Without Insul-Brite, and just plain batting, the potholder will not provide the same protection. And the Insul-Brite instructions are very clear that it should be used WITH another layer of cotton batting.

Please use cotton. Unless this is just for display, using the most non-flammable materials is important.

The Insul-Brite has a shiny side and a duller side. The shiny side should face the side of the fabric that will touch the hot pots. For this potholder, that meant it needed to face the black back side. So for my potholder quilt sandwich, first I placed the backing fabric (a plain black) that will be the side that touches the pots, face down. I put the Insul-Brite on top, shiny side down. Then a layer of cotton batting.

On top of that, the diva fabric face up.

I put a couple pins in place, then stitched around the perimeter of the fabric sandwich.

Once stitched, I trimmed the excess from the outside to about a quarter inch. And cut the corners rounding them a bit.

Well, my photographs of the next step didn't turn out so well, so here is a photo of the back of the potholder so you can see the quilting. I put the potholder in the machine and slowly stitched around the outlines of each figure. It would have been easier if I had increased my stitch length, but I didn't think of that until I was finished! Hopefully you can see the stitch lines that were on the back.

It would have been easier to quilt just with straight lines. Which I will probably do next time. For straight lines, I would have lowered the tension.

Next, is the part I am not good at. Binding the edges. I pinned the binding on, matching the outside edges up. See the squiggly yellow line I drew near my hand? That's supposed to show you where to sew. Sew just inside that first fold line of the bias tape.

Maybe this picture shows better than my squiggle.

Erm, ah, here is where my tutorial falls apart a bit. What happened to the pictures? Erm, ah, well, sorry about that.

Told youbinding was not my strength.

Anyway, after sewing the binding on, unpin it. And fold the bias tape over the potholder edge. Pin that in place. Other tutorials say to handstich the binding in place. I wasn't up for that, these needed to get done! So I machine stitched around the bias tape on the other side. Here's a shot so you can see. Not as pretty as handstitched, but I think it's ok.

So there ya go. Get cooking!
Love, Janimal

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