Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sewing. Show all posts

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pretty in Pink

The Mama loved to sew dresses for me in pink when I was in elementary school. I didn't care too much for the color, but because I wasn't interested in looking at fabric back then, she bought what she liked. Long story short, once I got to a point where I began choosing materials or ready-made clothes, I avoided pink.

Then somewhere in my late 40s, I thought the color pink is fresh. It's bold. It's got pizazz. It's joyful. It's happy. Again, long story short, I think I'll put some pink in the tunic I am going to sew soon.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Haute Hippie Couture

I walked into a woman's boutique shop in Santa Cruz to check out a very cute East-Indian style top that I saw in its window. It was similar to ones I wore when I was a very young thing. I thought if the cost was right it was going home with me. I was even willing to pay $45 for it, although I thought it was worth $20 bucks.

I have no sense of how much clothing are worth these days. Twenty bucks was how much I paid for eccentric stuff, which the the parents called hippie clothes, at import shops when I was a very young thing.

The East-Indian tops of yore were made of a thin cotton. This modern version was made of a smooth, rich-feeling fabric that turned out to be rayon. Not being silk, I figured the top would be very affordable.

Then I finally found the price tag.

One hundred ninety-eight dollars!

Shall I say that again: $198.00!!


When I got home, I looked up the designer online. Maybe I'd find the top for cheaper.



I saw several other tops on the designer's website that were my type of clothing. Free-flowing, patchwork tunics that started at $168.00. Wowza!

It's time to sew me some crazy tops.

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Amazing, But Unplanned, Stunt

The most amazing thing happened to me yesterday morning, as I was pedaling my pretty pink bicycle. Quite freaky, in fact. Totally insane. I wish I had one of those cameras strapped to my head so I could've recorded the whole thing, which lasted a few seconds but in slooooooooow motion seemed God, Almighty! long. In my mind, what I did is akin (almost) to attempting the circle-of death-biker stunt. Hey! Don't laugh. You gotta remember I'm a fat, young old fogey turning 60 in a few months, which I say in a very positive way.

Okay, okay. I think I've got your attention to the kinda, somewhat, yes, indeed risk I experienced yesterday morning.

It was about 8:17 a.m. For those of you who don't know my normal pattern, that hour is like sunrise for me. The Husband was still snoozing in bed, the Mama was eating her breakfast, and Molly the Cat was gazing out the back window probably thinking about climbing the fence. Me, I had a meeting to go to and by, golly, this time I had planned to not be the one straggling in behind everyone else.

The morning was overcast. By the end of the block, I realized I should've worn gloves. That's okay, I thought. I'll just pull the cuffs of my hoody over my hands.  Nothing to it. So, steadying the bike with my right hand, I reached with my left to tug on the right sleeve when. . .

What the heck! The bike became unsteady. It wobbled, leaned to the left, and suddenly I found myself coasting at a slant as the bike began arcing into a circle. Oh, my God! I'm going to fall!
I believe I was actually riding on the inner rim of the tires. If there's anything I fear, it's falling. Yes, yes. I jumped out of a plane at 18,000 feet, but that really is different. I did not want to fall sideways in the middle of the street, my body tangled with pink metal.

The bike headed towards the sidewalk. Oh, my God! I'm going to crash into the curb! An even worse place to land would be the gutter. But, inches away from the curb, the bike turned itself. And, Thank you, God! began righting itself. 

Before I knew it, the bike had done a complete circle. I was back at the same position where I had begun. Without blinking, I pedaled forward, as if nothing happened.

A few houses away, I passed a young woman getting into her truck. She looked at me, smiling broadly, and said, "Good morning."

"Good morning," I chirped, wondering if she saw the whole thing and thought look at that old lady doing a neat stunt. Pedaling onward to my meeting downtown, I tugged at my sleeves to cover my hands.

Friday, September 3, 2010

"A Case for Smiles"

See that mess of fabric on the right.

I'm almost finally going to turn them into some things. Operative word here is almost. A couple hours ago I ordered more fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew!  Almost 8 yards worth of different happy, calming designs with such names as Good Earth,  Daisy Dance,  Carnations on Gold, and Poppy Parade Brown.  So, once my shipment comes in, I shall drop everything and sew pillowcases.

Pillow cases?

Yes, pillow cases.

I'm going to get off my butt and sew at least seven pillowcases for "A Case for Smiles," a fabulous project sponsored by ConKerr Cancer.  Based in Philadelphia, the nonprofit group delivers donated handmade pillowcases to terminally ill children in hospitals across the United States. The founder is Cindy Kerr who started making pillowcases for her son and other children in the oncology unit in 2002 to help bring smiles to the kids as well as brighten their hospital rooms.

According to the ConKerr Cancer Web site, the organization has delivered over 240,000 pillowcases to hospitalized children, which were sewn by volunteers from North America and South Africa. It hopes to give every seriously ill child a cheery pillowcase by 2012.

The project is ongoing. For more details, head over to the ConKerr Cancer Web site. For the month of September, you can participate in this project in a couple of other ways.
  • September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Between September 13 and 19, ConKerr Cancer chapters will be holding events for sewing pillowcases. For more info, check out this link.
  • For its Project 9, Craft Hope has been collecting and distributing pillowcases for ConKerr Cancer. The group started the project in July. Its project deadline is soon approaching—September 15.  For more details about this project, head over to this page at Craft Hope.
I hope some of you will join me in the cause. Believe me when I say I'm not a sewing expert. But, I can sew straight seams good enough. Really that's all the skill you need. Your big heart will supply the rest to create lovely pillowcases. 

I'm stoked now. I'm ready to pedal away at the Mama's sewing machine.

P.S. To spread the word about "A Case from Smiles," I'm being shameless today. I'm linking up at these following Friday blog hops.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Craftsgal Wanna Be

That's right, I admit it. I'm a craftsgal wanna be.

When I was younger and lived in San Francisco, I thought it would be so cool to sell my handcrafted wares on the sidewalks. It didn't matter that I had no wares or skills.  I've been daydreaming again about selling my handcrafted wares, but this time at farmers markets and online at  Still, no wares and no skills.

When I get tired of writing, I visit crafts blogs. Sewing, knitting, beading, whatever. I especially like the blogs by crafts ladies who repurpose old stuff into fantastic things that I want to make, such as clutch purses out of used skirts.

Last fall, I finally had the space and time to try my hand at crafting. My first attempt was a hedgehog. That's it in the photo. It only has one eye.

Next, I made was a pinwheel. I go gaga over pinwheels. They're what I associate with Fourth of July and family picnics. One day, I would like to learn to weld so that I can create one crazy gigantic pinwheel, which I would stick in the front yard to the neighbors' horror.

Feeling a bit confident, I moved on to sewing cloth napkins. I made 10, including a few patchwork ones. Only three have ripped.  From that experience, I made an ambitious jump to sewing Christmas gifts. More napkins. A few grocery bags. An apron. Pencil rolls. Fabric holders for take-away coffee cups.

That was December. Since then, I've done nothing more than bookmarking blogs and downloading instructions and patterns. But, that's gonna change. This summer I've decided to be ambitious again and make one or more of these three things: 

Tee-shirt bag. At least seven of the husband's abandoned tee-shirts are waiting in a box for this project. There used to a few more, but I took them for my own use. The blog Wild Onion has a tutorial that sounds easy to follow.

Fabric produce bag. The mama will definitely think I've gone overboard when she sees me make these. Oh well. If anything, she'll bring out her stash of sheer curtains for me to use. Wisdom of the Moon gives instructions for making these bags. I like that there are pictures.

Teacup bird feeder.  Doesn't that just sound cute? The ones at Little Birdie Secrets are adorable. I want to make a whole bunch of them. We have quite a few birds hanging around our place. The instructions for making them sound like fun. 

Stay tuned for the results.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day

"Busy, busy," the husband said to me when I asked him if he read my latest Take 25 to Hollister, California post.

"Yeah. But I'm not making any money," I said.

"Well, you're not robbing a bank."

That's why I love the husband.

The mama's sewing machine is still good to go!
We're two freelance writers, just minding our own business. Though lately we haven't been good at minding it. Yesterday, I did look at online job ads for freelance writers and bloggers. Is it so bad to say I'd rather earn nothing for writing a post to my blog than get paid moldy peanut shells for researching and writing a tight, comprehensive article? Well, at least for yesterday. I may just be disciplined today.

Yesterday, I spent much of the afternoon checking out the various sewing and crafts giveaways being hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew! I didn't count, but I'm sure there were far more than a hundred bloggers who were participating in Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day! I clicked through three pages of links for my chance at winning fat quarters, yarn, and handcrafted items. I enjoyed running away for the moment, checking out blogs of talented crafts ladies and dreaming about things I'd like to make. Tomorrow, Thursday, May 20, is the last day for trying your luck, if you're interested.

Needless to say, I found quite a few interesting blogs. Here are some blogs that caught my eye, first by their names, and then by their content. I'll have you know that I am not mentioning them because I want another chance at whatever they may be giving away. Cross my heart. Besides, I don't remember which blogs I did comment on. Go ahead, take a look-see. You know you want to.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cloth Napkins

I’ve been talking to the husband and the mama about changing to cloth napkins for almost two years. (Time flies quickly when you’re old. That is, older.) The husband and the mama had no objections. Cloth napkins are more economical than paper ones, as well as more than one tree would be saved. But any moves of finding and purchasing cloth napkins were going to come from me.

My research was sporadic and disheartening. There weren’t, and probably still aren’t, many places to buy cloth napkins, nor were there a variety of choices of napkins. And I am very particular about shelling out money, between $4 and $5 per napkin, for something I could easily make, if I had the time. As for the mama, who is even cheaper than me, I imagined her hiding a paper napkin amongst the expensive cloth one and pulling it out to wipe her mouth when I wasn’t looking.

A couple months ago, I finally did walk my talk. It was fun and a hoot putting my foot to the metal of my mom’s Singer treadle sewing machine, after some 15 years. I also forgot how much I enjoyed shopping for fabric. I bought a few fat quarters at the local quilt store, Homespun Harbor, and a bunch of material in quarter-yard increments online at Sew, Mama, Sew. Heaven!

The end result: Nine cloth napkins! I want to make at least 21 more.

Using a fat quarter is the simplest and quickest way for making a cloth napkin. All you need to do is hem it. Here’s what I did:
  1. Press a pre-washed fat quarter.
  2. Place the fabric on a surface with the wrong side facing you. With each side of the material, fold the raw edge about 1/8 inch. Press in place.
  3. Fold the edge of each side again, about 1/4inch. Press.
  4. Sew. Voila—your napkin!
More info: You can find tutorials for different styles of cloth napkins on the web. I think Holly Keller at Chez Beeper Bebe has the ultimate tutorials. She offers a free downloadable tutorial for 5 different kinds of napkins at this link.