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....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

StitchAlong - The Letter J


This stitchalong has been so much fun. This hand embroidery stuff is outside of my comfort zone. I never would have done this if it weren't a project put together in such a cool way. It's been neat to see other talented women's embroidery and I have discovered some groovy new blogs to follow through the project. Click over to the 39 squares blog and check it out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alice In Wonderland Popover Dress, Hairclip tute, Stitchalong

Few things today! I need to catch up in the Stitchalong, show off my adorable kid in her Alice in Wonderland Popover Dress, and show you how I made her matching hairclip!

So first, the stitchalong. I'm continuing my theme of the alphabet.

And now Delilah in her Alice Dress.
This is a good dress to run in!

The matching clippy:

And away she goes!

I recently made this Popover Dress for Delilah. (I love love love this pattern, great for a novice sewer like me, and it was FREE from Oliver and S.) And since I had fabric leftover, I decided to make her a matching hairclip. (LOVE the pattern. Easy and cute, thanks Oliver and S!)

I made her dress using fabric purchased from http://www.someartfabric.com/ at the recent Sewing Expo. It's an adorable Alice in Wonderland print by Kokka (Japanese).

Before I show you this tutorial, let me add that I have seen something like this made somewhere else. My version is smaller, lighter, because it's for my little girl who has very fine hair, so her hairclips can't be too heavy or they will just slide out.

My problem is, I don't remember where I saw the other tutorial that I had in mind. (EDIT BELOW I FOUND IT!) Recently I saw a cool looking flower in some blog. The author used cookie cutters for the flower shapes, and she had folded circles for the center, which are the parts I remembered and used those techniques for my "lightened up" version. So although I didn't exactly follow a tutorial to do this, I have read one recently and my memories of that one were my guide. So if this looks familiar to you, please let me know so I can give proper credit. And I'll go searching my favorite blogs to see if I can find it!

First, I used a cookie cutter to trace around and make a flower shape on the Alice fabric. I cut 2 of these.

Then I used a spool of embroidery thread as my template to trace around a circle shape on the coordinating fabric. I folded the fabric and cut 4 circles.

Lay the 2 flowers on top of each other, and thread a needle with a looooooong piece of matching thread. I used embroidery thread.

Stitch an X right in the middle of the flowers, stitching them together. Don't cut the thread! You're going to keep stitching with it! (I suppose you could use hot glue instead of stitching if stitching isn't your thing)

Then, I took a circle, folded it in half, then half again. Umm, so that's in quarters.

(sorry for the blurry pic)

Place the corner of the folded circle into one of the corners of the X on the flowers, and using the same thread, put a stitch through the corner, holding the circle to the flowers.

Repeat with the next circle, in the next corner

Keep going until all 4 circles are stitched on. Don't cut the thread!!

Almost finished! Next, using the same thread, stitch on a matching button. I thought I would use a white button, but after looking at it, I decided a red button looked nicer.

Once the button is nice and tightly on there, it was time to finally knot the thread and clip it off.

Now comes the glue gun.

I ran a line of glue on a hairclip, and stuck on the flower. No pics of gluing here - Once I got the glue on the clip, I moved quickly to get the flower stuck to it. If I stopped for a picture, I was afraid the glue would dry up too fast.


EDIT: I found the tutorial I modelled this after! Blue Cricket Design. The tutorial is here. Mine is not the same, but definitely inspired by and her techniques helped me creat my own. Her blog is really awesome like that.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Monday, March 29, 2010

Popover Dress by Oliver and S

Thanks to the wonderful company Oliver and S for sharing the wonderful Popover Dress pattern on their blog!

Their other free pattern, the Lazy Days Skirt, is super easy. If you can sew a straight line, you can make that skirt. The dress is a little more challenging (ok, challenging to me means I had to use pins. I don't like pins.) But really this dress is simple and the instructions so well written and clear. No buttons, no zippers, nothing too complicated.

Here is my first attempt. I really wanted to get a picture with my little model wearing it, but I am too impatient to wait!

This black/white / linen one is my favorite. That's Alice in Wonderland themed fabric. Yum! It has french words but the fabric is by Kokka of Japan. Kokka has SUCH amazing fabrics. I also made a matching hairbow. Pics of that and tutorial to follow!

And this last one, I think the fabric is by Robert Kaufman. D LOVES animals, so this is special to me. I think I should have used a solid for the yoke and straps though.

So there you have it. Oliver and S has two great free patterns to follow. They were easy and I love how they turned out thanks to such great instructions. These free patterns have inspired me to try their other patterns, so stand by for more one of these days.
Incidentally, I find it kind of a bummer that the free garment patterns they offer are only for girls. These patterns gave me confidence and have encouraged me so much to try their other patterns, seems like they are missing part of their market if they are only appealing to those sewing for little girls? Boys need some special garments too!


Thursday, March 25, 2010



Let's go ORANGE!!
I picked Syracuse to win the NCAA championship. Not because I know anything about basketball, but because DH is a HUGE fan.

I actually know precious little about NCAA basketball, but the two teams I picked for the finals (Syracuse over Kentucky) are still in the tournament. Yay for dumb luck! (Syracuse plays tonight. Have to get this post up now in case tonight goes badly. Yikes!)

In honor of my husband's favorite basketball team, we purchased this men's large shirt on clearance from Old Navy. How could we resist, I mean, it was less than $2!!! Seriously!

Mens clearance shirt: $2

Fabric paints: $2.49

Seeing your kid get all giddy running around cheering for ORANGE! Priceless.

I traced around a dress we had in the closet, keeping the original neckline. I cut the length, and then cut the bottom pieces into 2' long strips.

I had never made ruffles before. This was big! Following directions I have read on so many other blogs, I set my tension on my machine to the highest it would go, with a long basting stitch. It was awesome! As I sewed through the middle of the strips, the fabric came off the machine perfectly ruffled! I pinned it on, sewed through the middle (after I adjusted the tension and stitch back to normal) and Ta Dah! Some freezer paper stencil magic (my husband is whiz with that exacto knife!) and a Syracuse jersey/dress was ready to wear!

(Don't you take pictures of garments hanging from your microwave door? No? Oh...)

I think my ruffle should have been narrower, it's a bit heavy.

But not heavy enough to slow this kid down!

Ah, the secret to getting a toddler to be still for a few seconds to take a picture. Give her a cracker.

Our last name appears on the back of the shirt, but I covered it here, because, well, you don't need to know!

Later skaters!

Reverse Applique Kitchen Towels!

Today is the day for the $5 Dollar Store Spring Decor Craft Challenge!

I made a new entry last night! I have two other entries, but I think this one is my favorite. Gosh, I like the wreath too....

(Here are my other two entries: Spring Ribbon Wreath and Decoupaged Vase)

SO quickly, here it is so i can submit it! (EDIT: Also entering in the CSI Project Challenge!)

Pretty Reverse Applique Kitchen Towels!

On with the tutorial! To make, purchase two contrasting kitchen towels from the Dollar Store. (I love Dollar Tree!)

Lay flat, and pin right sides together.

Sew around the outside seam, leaving a space for turning.

Clip the corners before turning to reduce bulk, and iron flat.

Turn, and top stitch around the outside edge. (This should also close the turn opening, but if you like, whipstitch that closed)

Draw circles with a water soluble marker on one side of the now two layered towel

Turn the towel over, and draw circles on the other color, on the opposite side from the other circles.

Stitch around all the circles. Then stitch lines across the circles, dissecting it like pieces of an orange. Don't worry about it being perfect. You should have stitched circles on both ends of your towel.

With small scissors, carefully cut away the fabric from each wedge of the orange, cutting only through the top layer of fabric.

Keep cutting through all the circles.
Wipe or spritz away your water soluble marker and figure out how to hang your pretty new towel!

Visit thecsiproject.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A New Stitched Inch AND A New Blog AND a Lazy Days Skirt AND a Project Preview!

I'm falling behind on my embroidery for the stitchalong. I just got a bit stumped on what to do for some the remaining letters of the alphabet! So last night I skipped to the last square and did this:

Today I have some ideas for my remaining letters and hope to get back on track!

Recently I posted THIS tutorial as my entry into the $5 dollar store craft challenge. It's a knockoff of a pretty ribbon wreath I saw in a boutique.

Just last week I came across another tutorial over at Embellished Bayou who made a similiar knockoff wreath. She used some different supplies, like staples instead of hot glue. I think I like the colors of hers MUCH better.

Great minds think alike!

And of course, now I am LOVING her blog. Those fleur de lis shirts she appliqued are awesome. She's also made ruffle butt onesies, some gorgeous Easter decorations, adorable welcome signs, and just some overall interesting posts.

Gosh, all these awesome new blogs I keep discovering. There are some crazy talented chicas out there in blogland. I need to step up my game! In an effort to be original, I purchased a large men's Tshirt at Old Navy this past weekend on clearance for less than $2, with the plan to turn it into something for Delilah.
Here's the shirt. Stay tuned for the "after picture" outcome which I hope to post on Friday. (fingers crossed)

And, just one more thing, here is another Lazy Days skirt I made for Delilah. These skirts are ridiculously easy to sew up and I love them. One of these days I'll get her to model the Popover Dress, also a free pattern from Oliver and S that was so easy to follow.

Off to have a cup of tea now. Ta Ta!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Felt Food Galore!

I recently started making Delilah felt food. I previously wrote about giving Delilah the banana. Guess I shouldn't have said "Would you like a banana?", because she was pretty upset with me (and the felt banana) that it wasn't REAL. It was a good thing we had bananas in the house that morning! The girl likes her bananas.

Since then I have been on a felt food frenzy. My plan is to make a whole bunch and give all the food to Delilah when she gets a new play kitchen. I think this will be a second birthday present. I'm happy to present my progress so far! (Pics taken at night on my bed - very professional yes!)

This sandwich and chips followed this tutorial from Skip To My Lou. I really liked that this was a project to sew by hand, and I could work on these pieces a little at a time propped up in bed before zonking out. You could certainly follow the tutorial and sew on a machine if you like. I took some leftover embroidery stabilizer bits and sandwiched them between the felt for the potato chips, so they would be a little more stiff like a chip instead of floppy. This was a great start into the world of felt food making. The tutorial is SO clear and making each piece was satisfying.

I did add some details to the lettuce and tomato on the machine - can you see in these pics?

The banana and apple and pear are from patterns by LilyBeanMarket. The banana was sewn mostly on the machine, and I like it ok, but I think I prefer my felt food made by hand. The directions by the way, were fantastic. They sent me a disk with videos making the fruit. Awesome! For the apple and pear, alas, I didn't pay attention to the video, and just used the pattern pieces and sewed them by hand. But I probably SHOULD have paid attention to attaching the stems. I just winged it and I am concerned they aren't on there fast enough.

Then I made this carrot using an easy peasy tutorial here from I Make Stuff. I really like this carrot! I did make it mostly on the machine instead of by hand. Seriously, so easy and fast to make. And I think it is super cute.

Following the directions of the other more experienced sewers has given me enough confidence now to make my own! If you are interested in making felt food, the sandwich set and carrot tutorials are great (and free) and the LilyBean Market patterns really help a beginner. LilyBean has some links to some online tutorials so you can check out how clear and awesome they are. Honestly, their kits are a bargain - you get all the felt AND a DVD to play on your computer with complete directions. Course, you can also order felt food already made by them, and that's really tempting.

Next up I'm going to tackle strawberries and perhaps some cake slices. I'd love any advice or suggestions, please comment if you have any!