Monday, April 30, 2007

Might as well....

join in on the fun!

Let's Google "LeeAnn needs..."

1. LeeAnn needs to find a better wardrobe person, she always looks like she's dressed in a potato sack. (Oh, man! Is that harsh or what? Good thing I have this dress (style B) is all cut out ready to be sewn!)

LeeAnn needs to be removed. Patty needs to be added. (I feel like its gym day in 8th grade all over again!)

LeeAnn needs for me to discover a mistake way back at the beginning. (So which one of you, would like to tear apart the skirt I just sewed? This statement is really erie since I was zoning while sewing and the mistake was at the beginning.)

LeeAnn needs approval to spend since the cost is more than $4000. (Today, I got a gift of a lifetime from my hubby. We didn't spend $4000, but it still needed to be budget approved. I'll give you all a hint. It has the letters "P" "F" "A" "F" "F" on the box :-)

I'll follow up on number 4 real soon!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Promised pictures of thrift finds

I had this post already to go, but then I had to interject my postings when my pink and green swap package arrived!

Here are some of the items I picked up this past weekend during my trip to NJ.

My grandmother bought me the cruet set at the auction we attended. I had been looking for a set for a while now but they were either too big or too small. These are just right! At the thrift store I picked up the colorful bottles for $2 each and the custard cups were $.25 each.

I am already for the next vintage button swap now! I really got lucky with the finds in the next photos!

I need to make a dress or something and use some of these pretties. I never gave buttons a second glance before I started blogging. See what you have done to me! I am a crazy button lady. I need to get a snap applicator. Those strawberry snaps are calling out to be put on some new wallets!

I am exploring my area again today. Thrifting has become one of my favorite things to do and today I have the opportunity to go to a bakery thrift store! Being a family of 2 doesn't require very many (if any at all) loaves of bread, but we were invited to a picnic tomorrow evening and they need some buns. I can handle buns. I can handle going to a bakery thrift store for buns even more.

(I just finished typing this post, hit the spell checker, and there were no misspellings! Today is going to be a good day!)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pink and Green Swap!

I received my Pink and Green package from my swap partner, Miss Bufforfington! *** She posted the goodies I sent her on her blog too*** This was my first swap of any kind and it couldn't have turned out better! Look at my goodies.

Sewing Supplies- and did she hook me up!
Purse- which is the perfect size to pack my lunches in. I love it! She made this herself!
Respectible Apron- I have been meaning to make myself an apron for a while now! I can cross that off my list. She made this too!
Imperfect but pretty vase- fits in perfectly with my current milk glass collection. Thrifted item!
Notebook- You can never have enough notebooks and look! it has a cow on it.
Green memo pad- We both sent notebooks and memo pads to each other which works out great for me because I really wanted some for myself.

And then she sent some "packing" material which included the pretty, happy pink flower and the quilted wall hanging she also thrifted.

My new lunch bag! I should have taken a picture off the charm she added on the other side. It has a pretty pearlized charm with a silver charm layered over top that says "create". A wonderful touch.

My new vase waiting patiently for fresh flowers, notebook, and a cheerful flower that found a home on my bookshelf.

You can see the lovely apron made from a Martha Stewart dish towel and my green memo book that is currently in my purse. The quilted flower wall hanging will be hanging in my craft area soon!

All my sewing supplies! She used some of them to wrap up the gifts in the package which made everything so pretty! There are two pillowcases, lots of trim (I love the pink pom-poms!), thread, quarter flats, and rick rack.

I am so pleased this swap turned out so well. I couldn't have had a better swap partner! I can't wait to participate in the next one!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Going once, twice......Sold!

I just got back from another trip to NJ. I attended a big auction with my grandparents and acquired a few items to enjoy in my home. Though not any furniture like I'd hoped. Sadly, I can't make myself buy a grandma sofa even if the pastel pink upholstery is impeccable and sells for $20. Some very cheap buys. A lot of dealers were present that take these goods to their little flea market booths and resell them.

I had all intentions of taking my camera along, but as always I forgot. That will be 10 lashings for me. I had a lot of fun. I'll take pictures of my goods later.

On my way home today, I seemed to forget it was Tuesday and there is always a huge flea market at Cowtown on Tuesday's in NJ. I practically got whiplash when I passed. So I promptly made a U-turn. It's been a long time since I was at this flea market and was pleased to see a thrift store had set up shop. Spent $10 on some very cool stuff. Again, I promise pictures.

Promises, promises, promises.

I might have been at the right place at the right time to score some cool vintage buttons at the thrift store, but it messed up my universe driving on the way home. I got rear ended. :( Never fun. In fact, I was a victim of kinetic energy. The car behind me was rear ended at a stop and they were pushed into me. Messed up my bumper and crinkled the hatch to my Vibe. No one was hurt, but I have to deal with the hassle of insurance claims and repairs. No fun at all.

But I will end the post with a fun mod zipper pouch that my little sis now owns. I used some left over dark denim, thrifted polka dot lining, thrifted zipper ( I wondered if I would ever use that neon green zipper when I purchased it), and used some lovely fabric acquired from See Katie Sew that was appliqued on the front. I want one for myself now.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fun with sheets

I finally cut into the stockpile of thrifted sheets that has been piling up. I really don't feel bad if I mess something up when I use them. I mean at $1.00 to $1.50 per pop that's a lot of cheap yardage.

I used these two patterns. The stripey fabric (which was a king size sheet!) I cut on a 45 degree angle to make a saw tooth pattern. I think it turned out neat. I didn't make any premeasurements. I just decided to cut and sew as I go.

It turned out rather large. The front panels are 18''x18'' with a 3 '' gusset made of recycled jean denim. I used the hem of the sheet for the handles. I added two large interior pockets and called it quits. This bag would be perfect for an overnight stay or one fruitful flea market adventure.

I made a skirt for myself out of the stripey fabric too. I used the same saw tooth technique. I used the book "Sew What? Skirts!" for help drafting the pattern. I have discovered that I overestimate roominess. And draw string skirts are not flattering on me. Only zipper a-line skirts for me here on out. But I will still wear it. I had to do some major reconstruction after I tried it on and it was 4 sizes too big for me. But it hasn't been warm enough to wear so I haven't taken any pictures.

Today was a wonderful day and I hope tomorrow follows suit. I spent the day with my parents and sister at the VA Beef Expo. It was fun. I enjoyed the classic ribeye steak sandwich for lunch, but was disappointed when they served it on a hamburger bun. I mean come on? Hamburger bun? Now that's just silliness. I also put a dent in the new book I am reading- "The spirit catches you and you fall down" A Hmong Child. Her American doctors. And the collision of two cultures. By Anne Fadiman

It's turning into a really good book. I might stay up and finish it tonight.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My favorite project to date!

One day, not too long ago, I stumbled over the website Betsy Ross. I was instantly inspired when I saw her #006 One for All Shoulder Bag. Remember this fabric I wrote about not too long ago? I asked for suggestions on making this into a purse. I decided to do a monochromatic look since I found the exact shade of grey/cream in a solid at the quilt store. So I bought the fabric, bought the pattern and waited eagerly until it arrived in the mail. It arrived yesterday wrapped up so pretty. I have to say this was the best packaged pattern I ever bought.

The pattern came neatly bundled in a black paper envelope. Folded inside were the durable pattern pieces (no brown tissue paper in site!) and an *easy* to read/follow instructional booklet.

- side note - When I unfolded the pattern I had this great idea to iron it out. Word to the wise, do not iron on the print side! Maybe some of you already knew this, but the ink transferred to my iron. Thankfully, I had enough sense to stop and clean my iron before it touched any of my fabric.

I didn't stop sewing til I finished it early this morning. I did take many extra steps not included in the directions. I added a lining, heavy weight interfacing, and a zippered pocket (my first zipper!)

This pattern leaves a lot of room for alterations to really personalize the bag. One thing that was unclear was how long the handles were going to be from the pattern pieces. Aimee states in the directions that you can adjust how long you'd like them to be. But I just used the pattern and the handles ended up being a nice length throw over your forearm to carry along. I suppose I could fit this up to my shoulder but it would be be awkward. Next time I want to make a shoulder bag I'll add about 4'' to the bias tape.

This is the result-
So tailored! So classic!

I am not enjoying the past few days here on the east coast. Where did my sunshine go? But I couldn't wait for the sun to shine to take these pictures.

See that zipper! I did that! It wasn't hard at all! I used this tutorial over at U-handblog.

As a side note to all you thrifters out there, I thrifted this 9'' brown zipper for $.10! I used a floral in complimentary toned to line the pocket and add some extra detail.

I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed making this. I can't wait to take this out in public! I will be using this pattern again.

Oh and Aimee at Betsy Ross also has a blog :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

More Button Fun

I dug deeper into the button box and created this necklace for a friends birthday. She is enamoured with fleur-de-lis's and is making this classic image her first tattoo. So when I found this well worn button I knew I had to make something out of it and since all my jewelry supplies were still out it made everything easy.

The button is actually attached to one of those metal keys used to open generic metal lock boxes and then attached to the metal thingermajig. I rescued another thrifted chain that matched the patina of the whole charm very well. I added the rings with black and clear beads last giving it a gypsy feel.

I also want to thank Lindsey Marcella (she's in the process of launching a new website for her goods!) for the wonderful box of tea I received the mail today. It was wrapped up so pretty and even had coordinating prints decorating the box and card. It certainly warmed up a rather dank and dreary day! Lindsey's binge on teas and selective taste buds was my gain today :-)


Friday, April 13, 2007

"Many hours of fun were always found in my grandmothers button box"

When I was going through those buttons I got when visiting my grandmother, I made an amazing discovery. I kept finding these interesting 'bits' of stuff. First I found the silver snap harness. I admired the delicate scroll work design and set it aside not knowing what I was going to do with it. Later on, I picked up this wonderful clear plastic button that amazingly had a very similar scroll design just like the snap.

Thankfully I was always had a knack for those kiddie memorize games and was able to find the snap and put the two together. It's a match made in heaven. The button is the perfect size to fit in the snap void too! They were meant to be together. And to make this union even better, at the bottom of the button jar was the chain in a tangled mess! So with some help from super glue and a trip to my bead store for a chain extension and a few rings, I give you my new recycled necklace for $3.26!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pink and Green (SPRING)

I joined my first swap a few weeks ago and I am in the middle of putting all the goodies together. My partner Dinah has emailed me and I grabbed a bunch of idea's from there. (Dinah, where is your blog?!?!) Everyone encourage her to get one up and running. She said she would like to have one.

**EDIT** Introducing my swap partner!

I made my items already, but I was having the hardest time finding the "right" thrifted item. I know! How hard can this be for a thrift loving gal? Yesterday I decided to make a mid week run out to the thrift store. I never really thrifted before on weekday (I'm a Saturday morning thrifter) but I came home with some great stuff. I also found THE PERFECT item for my swap. I only hope she likes it. My husband thought it was ugly, which only means it's awesome!

I was just telling myself I needed a pair of pinkin' shears and I found one for $.50. Only when I got them home did I realize they don't cut fabric. Bummer. I found some lovely purple and lavender bed sheets($1.50 each) that are destined to become skirts for some little girls I know, more zippers ($.10 ea), and some random beads ($.50). Oh, and a bag full of D- rings($.25). Perfect for some purses I have planned!

I almost forgot about this one. I saw this kit in the jewelry counter. I know the round nose pliers will come in handy for making jewelry, but I am pretty sure this kit is intended for scrap booking. I think there is an eyelet applicator in there, but I am not sure what the other stuff is. I am going to call my scrap booker friend and have her come over to clue me in. I figured at $4 it was worth picking up.

And several of you asked where's that coin purse I have been making. Since we moved apartments, it's home has been a zip lock baggie with all my notes and pattern pieces. I discovered one more change I would like to make. I will put this back on the priority list so hopefully I'll get this done this weekend.

And I also was one happy camper to discover fun mail over the past few days! Katie sent over some scrap fabric I was lucky enough to win (thanks to her son who picked 2 names instead of 1! I was lucky #2!) and Mary Ann recently threw a party on her blog and I received my party favor! My batteries are now recharging so no pictures of my goodies today, but soon.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Today's History Lesson

Today I decided to wash some old garments I picked up thrifting and tear them apart at the seams so they would be ready for projects at a moments notice.

While I was ripping one garment apart I was intrigued when I found this label-

It states: Int'l Ladies Garment Union Workers with the letters "ILGUW" and "AFLCIO"

I have never seen this kind of label before and I was off to find my laptop to do some research.

I found out that this label was made between 1955-1963. "This label was issued after AFL and CIO merged in 1955, and lasted until June 28, 1963. It is usually printed in blue on white, and features a scalloped circle with a threaded needle diagonally behind it. In the center are the large letters ILGWU, crossed with a smaller AFL-CIO. Around the edge is printed Int'l Ladies Garment Workers Union."

Wikipedia offers this posting on the Ladies Union. Go and have a read if you'd like to learn about 1920's garment making and the politics behind it all.

I thought it was interesting and it was nice to date the fabric.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


I recently took a $.25 thrifted zippered pocket purse and tore it apart. I wanted to figure out how it was constructed. The surgery was successful! I adapted what I learned, measured and adjusted to suit my own tastes, and created my very first pattern. Then I experimented with different materials and sewing techniques and finally came up with a pretty nice coin purse. I am beyond proud of myself and can't stop holding the thing. I mean it's my first very creation. And I realize that I didn't create a new wheel here, but I liked the challenge of discovering a new thing and I will gloat in my accomplishment awhile longer. Here is one of the final drafts using cheapo muslin minus a zipper. I wanted to make sure the materials where sturdy enough and I have been keeping it in my back pocket to test how it wears. So far so good.

I also thrifted a very plain old house coat that was home-made a few weeks ago. I had plans of redesigning it into a skirt but flesh tones can be seen through the fabric. What I thought would be an easy alteration will turn into a reconstruction with lining. I don't know if I want to use my brain for that function at this point in time. But I really love the print.

And few years back I was at a estate sale and I bought a box of old sewing supplies. Inside was this embroidered linen skirt and top (which was also home-made) that someone else saved to repurpose. I got the perfect handbag in mind for this beautiful fabric. I just need to find a fabric to line the purse. I'd love something with color. Maybe a lavender, a light blue, or green? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I've been busy with everything non-crafting lately. However, I did spend some time Sunday afternoon with my sewing machine giving her a much needed spring cleaning. This in turn led to some very surprising discoveries! As I was rummaging through the original box to get the owners manual I found a small pouch that contained pressure feet I never even knew I had! I found a zipper foot (no excuses now!), a blinded hem foot, and a narrow hem foot.

It took some time discovering what they were (looking on the Brother website) and even more time to figure out how to use them. Did you know there is no good tutorial out there to figure out how to use a Blinded Hem Foot? Nothing! And the ones that I did find were not very clear. But after many tries and a lot of scrap fabric I think I got it.

A while ago I picked up the book "Sew What? Skirts!" and absolutely love it. I think tomorrow I might whip something up and give that zipper foot some use.

I'll leave you with some overcast photo's of what Washington D.C. is looking like. On Saturday we went down to the Cherry Blossom Festival which was really beautiful.