Sunday, July 20, 2008

summer time projects

I know that summer can get busy... it's funny because we wait all year for the semester or school year to end so things will slow down - only to wish for it to start back up again so we can have a moments free time. Let's face it - we're never appeased. So just to prove that although my mind is always idle... my hands have not been. This is what I've been up to this summer.


These little dearies were mothers day gifts made by myself & my mother-in-law for her sister & friend for Mothers Day. They are the Carol Taylor Oates Retro Apron B, I started sewing them at her house and although Annette has a fancy -pants machine, I felt like I'd never sewn before. It's amazing how much having a serger can cause you to become severely handicapped when your without it. But I managed until I could get home & finish the project right. This spring boarded Annette & her other sister, Auntie MaryBeth to have a sewing frenzied weekend where they both made more great aprons.

This little number was an Apron Swap I organized through The Apronista Ning Group. It was a lot of fun. I think I bought 4 different kinds of fabric for this project, and ended up using none of them. I agonized over which to use and created this thing at 2am the night before I went out of town (using no pattern). My partner, Tracey either really liked it, or is just a really nice person (I'm leaning towards the second choice). You can read all about Tracey here. You can check out her stuff on Etsy here.

I had to post this picture. I wish I could say I made this one, but it would just be a big fat lie. I got this apron from the afore mentioned swap. Jeannetta creates the most amazing aprons she usually just sales them in boutiques. Anyway, I gave her the phrase "tutto toile" which translates from Italian as "everything toile" (since I'm a lot obsessed with toile) - and she surprised me with this adorable apron which I LOVE! You can see Jeanetta's cute stuff here.

This black & lime green combo was created for my fab friend Christie the Pres of the SSC, for her baby gift. She wouldn't let us throw her a shower, and other then eating breakfast & getting our toe nails painted she had nothing to show for a shower. I decided to make this adorable apron and give it to her in the hospital where she would be too weak to refuse. These are Christie's favorite colors and this pattern is the latest from Megan of Montessori by Hand. It is called the Lola Apron & comes with patterns for a Lolita apron (pipsqueak) - if Christie had a girl I would have made a matching daughter duo. I went through hell to get it for her on time. But it was worth it. Plus it matches her cute IKEA plates. You can get the pattern here.


This one was a quickie for the infamous Auntie MaryBeth. She suckered me into it & I can't say no to her. She is a woman after my own heart. She had (almost) everything cut out & serged - so really it was just piecing together & sewing on bias tape. It is a double sided CTO Retro Apron B. It's made from Home Fabrics so it's pretty darn thick. But it did turn out nice.

This is my beloved serger taking a well earned siesta under her new red & yellow toile cover. I found a free serger or sewing machine cover pattern and decided to customize it by adding elastic and the bias tape for accents. I had to tweak a few things to get it right, but it turned out and I'm tickled with the end result. Plus it keeps my kids from poking at her or messing with her strings.

This curtain I actually made before the serger cover. There wasn't a pattern. I just had a basic idea and measured the window, so I could buy the right amount of fabric. I bought a striped fabric to hang out underneath from behind, but both fabrics together darkened the room too much and I didn't like the overall look. So a little more tweaking and viola! This is what I get & I really do love window treatments.

This was the material I bought to make 10 pillow cases (pattern & tips found here). Last Tuesday, my house was crammed with 10 & 11 year old girls from church here to make a sewing project. At the last minute the planner of the activity had to leave town & my new partner had a sick baby. So I called Abbey & she came with her serger & kids in tow to my rescue. Another mom (Shauna) kept them playing games till it was their turn to sew. It actually wasn't too bad. It took us roughly 2 hours to assist the girls in making them, with the fact that many of the girls had never touched a machine before. Ironically after having to rethread our sergers countless times we threatened the girls not to touch them. Sewing machines take less then 10 seconds to thread... the choice is obvious. Thanks Abbey & Shauna for helping out. I couldn't have done it without you.

The next project matches a valance I made for my dining room earlier this year.

My last project (of the month - I hope) is one that I just finished last night 2am - its my dining room table cloth. I absolutely love it! I've had this 54X54 piece of toile fabric covered with bulky/ugly pieces of clear vinyl sitting on my table since I bought the darn thing 2 years ago. Well, recently I heard about this awesome (yet very pricey) adhesive iron-on vinyl that turns regular fabric into a durable oil cloth-ish type material. It is awesome & works really well. The downside is that it is only 17 inches wide which sucks, but it does it's job well - so just keep your Joann's 40% off coupons & it will make itself worth your while.

They recommend you adhere the vinyl before you begin your sewing projects, but I'm a little bassackwards, so I made my table cloth first & then added the vinyl & it still worked very well. There are no seams they just melt into each other & the best part is that although it is time consuming when making something big like this... it is super easy! Well, sewers... I've showed you my summer projects - now you must show me yours!


Stacy said...

Too bad those toiles have been discontinued a long time ago. Aren't they beautiful?

Jill Manning said...

Oh my gosh, how do we compete with all those projects? Maren, you are amazing with what you can create without using patterns with just getting an idea from a pattern and than making it your own. I love the sewing machines/serger cover, you will have to show me that one and I love the Lola apron, holy adorable! Thanks for the link, I don't think I would have been so generous with that information, just because I would want to be the only one with it...I'm so greedy!

Maren said...

The toile actually isn't discontinued. I got the black & white at Joann's in the Home Decor section during a 40% off sale & I bought the yellow & red at Wal-Mart, the downside is that after January Wal-Mart won't be carrying fabric anymore. So if you want some of it - you better get it before then.

Bistro said...

Wow that was really great designs i love the lace of those waist apron.

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