January 30, 2012

My Jasmine top gets a little extra love

Look! I'm quite flattered that the Coletterie (Colette Patterns' blog) had me as a Featured Seamstress today with my little B&W Jasmine blouse. If you want to see the original post plus extra photos go right on ahead. Thanks, Colette, for liking my version enough to share it with your readers and if you've stopped by from the Coletterie, welcome!

In other news - I finished painting my sewing room tonight! Now I have to let the walls dry and move all the furniture into place and then I can get back to sewing! I've got three projects cut out waiting to be stitched along with a couple other patterns (including Colette's Clovers) ready to hop on the assembly line. Not having a usable space has been so frustrating even if it has only been about a week since I started.

January 29, 2012

The Crafter's iPhone Case, or, another way to easily impress your friends

Cross Stitch iPhone Case

By now you may have seen these puppies on the interwebs. Or maybe you haven't, in which case (no pun intended) check it out! It's a cross stitch-able iPhone case! You can make whatever design you want and show off your crafty styling to all your friends. Who really needs an Otter Box, anyway? ;)

Earlier last year you could only order these cases from poorly translated Korean websites but now they're all over the place! Well, at least two other websites that I found carry them. Justin got me this one for Christmas from Think Geek, a site that sells mostly comic book and Star Wars related chotchkies.

You have the option of blue, black and white cases (you can probably find more colors on other sites) and each come with three little embroidery thread packs and a needle. I didn't bother using their thread and instead picked from my own stash.

Not really knowing what I wanted to do I went with a simple chevron style design and mixed up my threads and stripe thicknesses.

Cross Stitch iPhone Case 

It took a LONG time. Seriously. I don't often do cross stitch or embroidery but it seemed like this took longer than it ought to have. I could do about four full lines in an hour. Believe me, I caught up with both seasons of Downton Abbey working on this thing. Part of the reason is that unlike cross stitching or embroidering on cloth you can't go around stabbing your needle in all willy-nilly. You have to find the designated hole and slip the needle in. Come at it at an angle and your needle dives into plastic and you have to try again. Precision takes time.

Cross Stitch iPhone Case Front

Watch out for your tied off knots on the back. One of my sides was so full of bulging knots that now the case doesn't fully "hug" the phone on the left side and I find myself constantly trying to push it down correctly.

Cross Stitch iPhone Case Side

Also, my now purple hair has rubbed off onto the white plastic staining it slightly. But don't think that just because you've got nice normal hair that you're exempt. I've had cases like this before so I should have known better that to buy the white but anything that is on your hands or face will get on the phone case and dingy it up - makeup, ink on your fingers, hand dirt, dye from your jeans pocket. I've even had lining fabric from a new purse rub off on cases before. You might have better luck with the black or blue but eventually that plastic will discolor.

What's cool about these cases is that if you get bored you could rip everything off and start again. With so much use the threads are bound to get dirty over time. But since this design took me ages to do I think I'll keep it for awhile.

January 27, 2012

Sneak Peak, or, the longest paint job of all time

This is a photo of my sewing room partially painted. I could have just picked one color like a normal person, but no, I had to go for some crazy stripe idea with four colors with lots of measuring and taping. And it's really cutting into my sewing time.

I have two walls finished and are drying. Today I'm shoving all the stuff back on those two walls so I can move the furniture on the other two walls away. I only moved a few things out of the room completely. Luckily I haven't spilled any paint on anything so far!

I can only paint two stripes at a time because of the tape lines so it makes thing slower than normal. And I just realized I'm probably going to need more paint. Ugh.

This is why I kept putting off painting - I use that room so much that now I've migrated fabric cutting to the dining room and if I do want to sew I have to go back and forth down the hall between two rooms.

Needless to say I'm a little annoyed. Part of me wants to finish this dang dress and part of me wants to finish painting so then neither thing gets done and instead I blog.

On the other hand it does make me appreciate more that I have my own sewing room and that it is no longer the dining room. I bet most of you have had the dining room as a sewing room at one point in your lives. I think a lot of sewers must eat at the coffee table. ;)

***Do you have a sewing room/studio/cabinet/alcove/dining room? How do you make it your own? Do you think I'm crazy for trying to paint in such a tiny room without removing all the furniture? Did I just answer my own question by asking it?

January 25, 2012

Learning a New Skill, or, an iDye Review

I've been sewing for well over 8 years now but can you believe that I've never dyed fabric before? Well, it's true. And I feel like it is something I should have done by now. How hard could it be? Plus I'm sure it's fun. AND I found this cool video on using turmeric (yes, the spice) to dye fabric! I'm not sure I'm at the point to try that but it is pretty cool and all natural.

I have some good old fashion white batiste and some crochet lace that I want to use for lining for my Darling Ranges Dress. I want the lace to just peep out from under my skirt when it's all finished but I want the lining and lace to be closer in color to my shell fabric so I decided to dye it.

Not a problem, right? Just go to the store, buy some Rit and follow the directions on the box.

When I got to the store I was a little disapointed with the Rit selection in orange and yellow (the shade range I was looking for). Only two colors. That's when I saw the iDye packets hanging on a rack.

iDye intrigued me for two reasons: it had many more color offerings and I could just pop the whole thing in the washing machine. No need for a giant pot on the stove or a bucket and a big mess. Perfect for a first time dyer!

If there was a downside to this brand it is that, although the packaging is nice and pretty, the photo of liquid dye is a little confusing. Some colors feature pictures with a large gradient of light and dark shades in the color. Well, which is it? When I buy "Crimson" am I getting a bright red or a deep burgundy? With "Golden Yellow" am I getting mustard or orange?

I bought Deep Orange and thought "We'll just see how this goes."

So lets get started. I popped open the packet to find a little plastic pouch with deep colored dye in it. So far so good.

The directions for a front load washer say to pop in everything all at once - fabric, dye packet and 1 cup of salt (for cotton). Set the water on hot and high agitation.


Immediately you can see the water turn orange.

I did an extra rinse cycle just to be safe and dried the lace and fabric in the dryer.

Here's the final result after ironing. Not too shabby. The batiste resembles an orange sorbet color. The lace is much bolder than the fabric but it is also thicker and wasn't as white as the batiste to begin with. The orange picks up on the deeper shades in my printed fabric for my dress (which you will get to see later).

Yay! What an easy introduction to dying. So if you are a dye newbie give iDye a try. You can also use it on the stove top if you don't have a washer at home but the washing machine method is pretty simple and I liked the finished color. I bought mine at Joann and the cost wasn't that much more than Rit. They even have a line of colors specifically for polyester fabrics.

***Have you dyed fabric before? Have you ever tried using natural dyes (spices, wine?) Any tips for my future dye endeavors?

January 23, 2012

Independent Sewing Pattern Companies, or, Adding Way Too Much to my To-Do List

One of my sewing resolutions this year was to support indie pattern designers but that idea also needs to fit in with my other resolutions - like sewing clothes to fill gaps in my wardrobe. These are just a few that I plan on making.

I love Megan, she's Australian living in the USA and she's just so darn cute with her skirts and her curly hair. She already has a line of maternity patterns but this dress is the first of hopefully many designs based on designs from her clothing line. This meets my "filling out my wardrobe" requirement as it is a dress but also relaxed enough to throw on and look cute. Longer sleeves means it works for multiple seasons and I can be lazy and not shave. Omg, don't you just have those days when you do not feel like trying to look good? I'd say that's 50% of my life. I love easy-cute! I've already begun cutting pieces out!

I've made the Anouk dress and this is next on my list. It fits a few requirements like the Darling Ranges dress - it is a dress and has long sleeves. It also is part of my resolutions to try new styles I wouldn't normally gravitate towards. I have a slightly fear of wearing a dress without a defined waist because I think it's going to make me look like a balloon. Like I'm not skinny enough to pull it off, which is ridiculous thinking. So making a dress that isn't even cinched in with a belt is new territory for me.

It gets hot in Texas. Like melting-the-skin-off-your-face hot. It's a fact of life that I need shorts and I'd really want some cute ones without a ridiculously low waist which I am veering away from style-wise. These have a higher waist and a cute curved detail.

I need more nice, solid tone, easy to wear tops in my wardrobe that aren't as casual as t-shirts. The pleats are interesting but not overwhelming. I'm thinking a nice black silk?

I love Sewaholic and Tasia's designs even if some of her designs aren't my own style or wouldn't be practical for my wardrobe as it is right now. I do love her new jacket pattern which I could easily make for Texas' mild winter. I desperately need a solid color jacket. All of my coats/outerwear are plaid! I'm thinking navy because that goes with everything, right? Unfortunately with 65 degree days I may put this coat on the back burner until fall with hopes that next winter will be colder.

I also desperately need more pants! I like that these are ankle length or cropped and they're simple enough to adapt in many ways. I'm hoping I can use these to perfect my fit after the disaster that was the Jeans from Hell.

Honorable Mentions to Paper Cut Patterns - I love their designs but I just can't justify spending $30 on a pattern right now.

***Can you recommend any other good companies out there that I've missed? Have you tried any of the above designs? And a note to all you pattern designers - I'd love a good blazer pattern, pretty please!

January 21, 2012

Self Drafted Sweatshirt Jacket, or In Other News, I now have Purple Hair

Sweatshirt Jacket

I made this jacket partially as a contributor challenge on the Sew Weekly (in case you haven't heard yet, the Sew Weekly has opened up the floodgates and is allowing anyone to contribute a project for each weekly challenge!) but also because from my Closet Catalogue I knew I needed (and wanted) more jackets! So excuse me is much of this post is taken from my Sew Weekly post.

This jacket was originally inspired by a stylish friend’s heather knit jacket but it has since morphed into something else entirely.

Sweatshirt Jacket

I began with a sketch, started piecing bits together here and there and kind of making it up as I went along. I changed pieces in places in mid sewing - like the angle of the lower pieces on the front. Since I really didn't know what I was doing I made several mistakes, especially in trying to figure out how to put in those darn pockets. This all resulted in much hand sewing!

Sweatshirt Jacket

The extra long cuffs along with extra buttons were made out of necessity. See, I had a bunch of this sweatshirt material deep in my stash but I had very few big sections. Luckily I also had a failed dress and a shirt that I had previously made with this fabric so with everything together I had enough to cut out all the necessary pieces.

I didn’t have any piece long enough for a full sleeve so I chopped off the quarter length sleeves from the old shirt and added these  long cuffs.

Sweatshirt Jacket

The body of the jacket itself has princess seams with sections at the bottom that have pockets hidden into the seam.

Since the knit fabric was so bulky I couldn’t for the life of me get my automatic buttonhole foot to work! It ended up stretching the fabric instead of moving it so I had to use a regular foot and manually make all 8 buttonholes. After all that work I just made the buttons on the pockets decorative. ;)

Sweatshirt Jacket

And in other news - I have purple hair! I thought that might be something fun to do this year. I probably won't have it purple for too long so I want to enjoy it while I can.

And in other other news - I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all you readers who have been coming to my blog or following. I don't always get the chance to respond to every comment but I want you to know I do read them and often I visit your blogs, too, even if I don't get the chance to regularly share the comment love at your place. Anyone with a blog reader list, even one that is relatively small, knows how fast that reader can explode with posts (I can never seem to catch up!) so know, that even if I don't comment often I do follow a lot of your blogs and read regularly. And thanks for reading here, too.

January 17, 2012

Closet Catalogue Pt 2

Yesterday I posted the results of my Closet Catalogue where I counted and categorized every piece of wearable clothing I own (with a few exceptions) with the hopes of learning about my style, my needs, and what I should sew next. It's really eye opening!

Here's what I learned: 

I definitely have a few items that I wear more often than others like my one pair of Gap skinny jeans and this loose fit printed t-shirt which is super comfy for hot summers (aka, every day of my life). I also wear another slightly dressy t-shirt often and in the summer I practically live in one pair of jean shorts (even though I don't totally love the style, they're just convenient). I get plenty of use out of a couple sweaters and a couple blazers especially when it's not cold enough for a coat. Of the dresses I've probably worn my Anouk dress more often since I've made it than any other dress I own.

Flow-y Floral Summer T-shirt
(most worn top)

Clothes I wear the least:
  • Sleeveless anything - because I'm lazy and sometimes I don't feel like shaving. I admit it! Don't deny that you don't feel the same!
  • Clothes that require extra clothes - like shirts that need a tank top underneath or skirts that need tights or leggings. Or even strapless bras. I don't want to have to track down extra clothes and make sure that they are clean.
  • Skirts - and I have so many!! I think this is because I am lacking in solid color tops that aren't t-shirts. I feel the need to have nicer shirts to go with skirts - that t-shirts are too plain or something. And I need black or white or solid tops because I have so many darn printed skirts.
  • Dresses - this is mostly due to the fact that some dresses are too nice for everyday wear. Others are sleeveless and a couple require "extra clothes" that I'm too lazy to dig through a drawer to find. Sad but true.
Gaps that need to be filled:
  • Long sleeves! I only have two long sleeve shirts in my whole wardrobe. One of which has gotten so much wear over the past few winters that I think my boyfriend wants to burn it and free his eyes from it. Yes, Texas winters are short but occasionally I do leave the state in the cold months.
  • Nice solid color tops for the above mentioned reasons. Hopefully they will encourage me to wear more skirts.
  • Pants. For obvious reasons. And for the fact that I love skinny jeans. They are so versatile. They can be dressed up or down; worn with heels, boots or flats; and I don't have to shave. Yay for being lazy but still looking put together.
  • Everyday dresses which means long enough that I don't feel self conscious, that have sleeves of some sort and aren't too low cut - another thing I hate - worrying if I'm letting it all hang out. It's less of a modesty thing and more of an annoying, fiddling with my shirt, thing. Since I don't have a dress code for work I don't need dark colored shift dresses but I don't want something so casual that I look like a slob. I need cute and comfy dresses that are no fuss.
  • More blazers - because I really love them but one is showing a little age, one is too hot for winter, one is tight in the arms and my favorite one is denim so I can't wear it with jeans or I risk the Texas tuxedo effect.
  • A solid color coat. I have one but it's more of a jacket and I don't really like the style of it. I just wear it out of necessity when I don't want plaid on plaid or plaid on stripe since my other coats are plaid.
Colette MacaronVictory Patterns Anouk Dress

  • "Church Appropriate" dresses - this was a need that I think I may have filled. I don't go to church except with family on major holidays - aka Easter and Christmas. Most of my dresses I felt like they weren't church appropriate. All my fancy dresses were either strapless, sleeveless, not the right season(too dark/light) or too fancy or too casual. Now that I made my Macaron dress last year I think I have a good Easter dress and my Anouk dress with its long sleeves and floral makes for a good Christmas dress. Sweet! Something I can check off the list!

So what does this mean for future sewing projects? Well, I'm going to try to pick patterns and fabric that meet my needs. I'm going to stop buying patterns for fancy dresses that I'll never have an occasion to wear. I'm going to clear out my closet of the unwanted items. I'm going to make more of an effort to wear items I like but don't utilize as often as I should. And I'm going to get more use out of every new item I make because I know it will fit my style and my needs and I'll love it!

***I hope this has inspired you to do a closet catalogue of your own (and now I know of some who already have!). It really doesn't take that long. Just go through your closet, then your drawers and finally your dirty laundry. It's a perfect thing to do while you're doing laundry anyway. If you're really ambitious you could take a picture of every clothing item to help you create new outfits you might not have tried. Needless to say, I'm not that ambitious. ;)

January 16, 2012

Closet Catalogue - Sewing Resolutions

As I mentioned in my sewing resolutions post for 2012 one challenge (and possibly the most important) was to catalogue my entire wardrobe. This serves a few purposes - one to get a good grasp on the clothes I have, figure out what I wear often and what I never wear, questions why some clothes don't get worn, and discover gaps in my wardrobe and fill them with handmade clothes!

This may not be compelling blogging to everyone but I highly recommend doing your own catalogue! You'll learn so much about your own style, why you're hanging on to old clothes you don't wear, and if you sew, what you need to make to have a satisfying closet experience. ;)

So this is my catalogue. What I didn't include were clothes I haven't worn in over a year or more (which really, why am I keeping these anyway??), accessories (scarves, tights, jewelry, shoes), exercise wear, pajamas, lounging and work clothes that I'd never leave the house in anyway.

So that leaves normal clothes that I wear on a daily basis, season specific clothes and fancy stuff that I would wear given an opportunity but I wouldn't wear it to the grocery store.

I organized everything by item type and then sub categorized them by attribute (black, white, print, stripe, plaid, long sleeve, sleeveless, etc), whether or not I need something to go with it (undershirt for a see-through top, leggings for a super miniskirt), and if it was handmade. Some items fit into many attribute categories (like a handmade, striped skirt that needs leggings, or a printed strapless dress that needs a sweater).

I made a simple spread sheet and marked an X in every applicable category. Here are the results:
  • I have 16 dresses, of which 7 are handmade, only one has long sleeves, 4 are sleeveless or strapless, 3 need something to go with it (one dress I have needs both leggings 'cause it's short and an undershirt because it has a deep v-neck), and 3 are for fancy occasions like a nice party or nighttime wedding. 3 solid color, 10 print, 1 stripe, 1 plaid.
  • 17 blouses, of which 10 are handmade, only one has long sleeves, 3 are sleeveless, and 3 need undershirts. 1 solid color, 3 white, 9 print 4 plaid.
  • 18 t-shirts or knit tops, or which 4 are handmade, only one has long sleeves, 2 are sleeveless, and 1 needs an undershirt. 6 solid color, 2 black, 3 white, 5 print, 2 stripe.
  • 6 jackets/blazers and 3 are handmade. 2 solid color, 1 black, 1 print, 1 denim, 1 stripe.
  • 5 sweaters and only one is handmade and only two have full long sleeves.  1 black, 1 navy, 1 gray with stripes, 1 brown, 1 white.
  • 4 tank tops which are mostly used as undershirts. 1 black, 1 gray, 2 white.
  • 3 pairs of pants, one pair are handmade and they are all jeans! The handmade pair are black and the other two are blue.
  • 3 pairs of shorts, of which one are handmade, one are denim, 2 are solid color.
  • 16 skirts, of which 11 are handmade. 4 solid color, 2 black, 1 white, 6 print, 3 stripe.
  • 3 coats/jackets and one is handmade. 2 plaid, one solid color.
  • 1 pair of gray leggings that are handmade.
Altogether I have 91 pieces of clothing that are at least somewhat regularly worn. 37 are handmade which makes about 40% of my total wardrobe. Just knowing how much of my wardrobe is handmade is pretty interesting in itself, I think.

***Tomorrow I'll talk about what I learned from all this counting and how it will affect my sewing for this year! Be prepared - it's going to be a pretty long list!

January 12, 2012

One Yard Wonders - Orangizer Wallet

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Organizer Wallet

I've already made something from this awesome book!

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Organizer Wallet

I like making wallets. Even though I already have a bunch of handmade ones I just love sewing all the little pockets and feeling organized when I finish.

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Organizer Wallet

I wanted to make this wallet because my old oilcloth wallet I was using was getting torn up and the magnetic snap wallet had ripped through the oilcloth. I intended to re-use the magnetic snap on this new wallet but the darn snap was so strong that it practically ripped this fabric, too! So I ditched the snap and used a big button instead.

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Organizer Wallet

Maybe the magnetic snap will worth with super thick heavy duty fabrics but for now I'm sticking that thing far back in my notions box.

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Organizer Wallet

I followed all the directions except for the zipper instalation. I didn't want the raw edges of the zipper exposed even inside the zip pocket so I stitched the zipper in between the front and lining piece, rather than behind both pieces.

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Organizer Wallet

Otherwise the wallet went together pretty smoothly. I love quick little projects like this!

The fabric is leftover from this little girl's dress. I'm on a roll with stash busting lately!!

***Oh, and guess what?? At my monthly sewing meet up last week one of the lovely ladies (who also loves this book) suggested that we form a new kind of book club -  a sewing book club. Basically it means that each month or so the group picks a sewing/craft project book. We then later all meet together and show off and review projects made from that book. We're starting with One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric. If that one goes well I'm thinking the new Colette Sewing Handbook would be fun to do next. But I need help! I need to come up with a nifty name for our book club - something that incorporates sewing and books. I'm not good at name picking. So give me your ideas and let me blatantly plagiarize you!! Many thanks in advance!

January 10, 2012

The Jeans from Hell Return

Jeans from Hell

Did you recognize the top of these jeans from yesterday's Jasmine post? Yep - those are the Jeans from Hell!! I feel like I need some sound effects right here - like thunder and chainsaws and someone screaming.

I believe I may have salvaged them.

Jeans from Hell

After getting the fit somewhat decent I trimmed and hemmed the legs, serged all the insides and top stitched the crotch line and partially down the sides, mimicking RTW jeans. I even added button loops.

Jeans from Hell

I copied the back yoke and back pockets from my old busted up jeans and used those for my new jeans. Because the yoke runs cross grain I had to take the back in a little more as well.

Luckily my original waistband pieces still fit but just barely - which is odd because the pieces cut from my original pattern were way too big so why would the original waistband be too small? I'm way too confused at this point to care.

Jeans from Hell

I used the front pocket pieces from the original pattern but replaces the inner pocket piece with a scrap of leftover yellow and while cotton for less bulk.

I didn't completely follow the directions for the original pattern's lapped zip but I got the same basic result. And I used a flat hook and eye for the waist band closure instead of a button.

Jeans from Hell

They're not too bad if I do say so myself. They are mighty comfy and it's nice to have a pair of jeans that are black and not blue (which I already have). The only problem is that they've stretched out a bit after wearing them around all day and sitting and stretching. They're not gigantic but if they stretch out any more they might get that way.

I'll try washing them in hot water and drying them on high and then wearing them around while they're still slightly damp and hope that they'll conform more to my shape that way.

I'm proud of myself for sticking it out! I'd like to say that I'll use these pants to trace a standard pants pattern for myself but I'd honestly rather start over from scratch. With all the chopping and hacking the two legs aren't mirror images of themselves and there are still things that I'd like to change but at least they're not a super fail!

Is there a garment that you've beat yourself up about trying to fit? At what point do you throw in the towel? Or do you just keep trying no matter what??

January 9, 2012

Black and White Colette Jasmine

Colette Jasmine

First of all, I'd like to say that I didn't start this project with the intention of blatantly copying Colette's example of this shirt but what can I say - I wanted a classic look without a print (because I need more solid neutral tops to mix and match) and I really liked the collar and sleeves on version 2.

Colette Jasmine

So I made this black and white Jasmine and I really like it! The white fabric is a smooth and silky rayon that worked well on the bias. Unfortunately it is super see-through so I have to wear a cami underneath and you can kind of see the facing as well. I'm thinking about trimming the facing down so that the collar covers up the edge.

Colette Jasmine

The black collar is leftover linen from the Anouk dress I made a few days ago. Yay for stash busting!

I had never made a top on the bias before but I really like it. It skims the body and you don't need zippers or buttons or any type of clasp to put it on. Another yay! I hate unnecessary closures on tops.

Colette Jasmine

Since the collar ties are really too short to tie Colette came up with a clever little loop in the center front to slip the ties through.

Colette Jasmine

I also really loved the pointed cuff detail. If I have any complaint it's that I think the sleeves are a little big around for my taste. I'd have preferred a more fitted sleeve.

I don't know if I'll try the other version of this pattern but I'm not totally against giving it a go.

Colette Jasmine

Justin thinks this top reminds him of a sailor shirt but I'm leaning more towards a 60s French style. What do you think?

I just realized that this is only the third Colette pattern I've made. I like several of their designs but I'm surprised I haven't sewing many of their patterns. I'm hoping to try the Clovers next. I'm crossing my fingers they they work for me!

January 7, 2012

One Yard Wonders: Fabric by Fabric - Book Review

We got this new One Yard Wonders book in stock at the store a couple weeks ago. At first I thought it was just an updated version of the original book but then I took a closer look. I finally decided to buy it because so many of the projects piqued my interest.

This new book is in the same vein as the old one - 101 projects all using just one yard of fabric (plus other notions like buttons, zippers, interfacing, of course). This book is different not only because it includes projects for 9 types of fabric but also because it's so thick!

Look! The patterns make up practically half the book size!

I like that the book offers so many fabric options because quilting cottons can get boring and with this variety I can utilize more of my stash.

The spiral binding helps make the book stay open - a must for a craft book!

The book also includes introductory sewing basics near the front along with helpful descriptions, recommended needle sizes and tips for sewing each fabric type in the beginning of every section.

(Shaggy Chic Chenille Clutch)

The instructions are clear, like the last book, and often feature helpful illustrations.

(Kid's Comfy Chair - yes you can make a chair with one yard! Wow!)

As for projects its a nice mix of clothing, bags, accessories, home dec, gifts, utilitarian, toys, kids and baby items.

(Stroller Tote)

However, if you don't have kids like me you should know that there are at least 26 projects specifically designed for kids, babies or parents. That's a quarter of the book! Something to keep in mind if you don't have any little ones to sew for.

(Logan's Guitar)

Although if you do have kids there are quite a few projects that can work for boys (yay!) but most of the clothing projects are for girls.

 (Jet Set)

The difficulty ranges from beginner to advanced beginner or intermediate.

Many projects are quite useful that could apply to anyone. And with all the aprons, pillows and bag possibilities you could easily make gifts for everyone you know! This book would make a great gift itself to someone learning to sew or who likes craft sewing.

(Hi-Fi Habitat)

Some projects are questionable, though. Like these wall mounted iPod player and speaker set. The fabric covered boxes are supposed to conceal speakers but how do you conceal the wires??

(Pig and Piglets)

Or this stuffed pig that gives birth to it's pigglets from a zipper pouch in her stomach. That just gives me the creeps for some reason.

(Petal Pillow)

My top project picks that are going on my to-do list:
  • Petal Pillow
  • Shaken, Not Stirred Martini Shade (basically a roman shade - I really need to make one for my craft room)
  • Shaggy Chic Chenille Clutch
  • Airliner Bag
  • Farmer's Market Tote (a nice multi pocket grocery bag)
  • Scruffle Scarf
  • Oranizer Wallet
  • Urban Wabbit Hunting Cap
  • "Work in comfort" neck pillow (great for plane trips or long car rides!)
  • Under the Sink Cleaning Stash
  • Breezy Kite (Perfect for Kite Day!)
  • Smart Girl's Set Sunglasses Case
 (Scruffle Scarf)

I usually don't buy crafty sewing books but this one inspired me so much and I've already started on one project! If you feel like deviating from garment sewing I highly recommend this book!