Recently in Holidays Category
January 9, 2014
I love casseroles. I really really love them. While I do love to cook I am not about 30 ingredients and several hours of tastings and seasonings. I love chopping a few things, throwing them in a dish and tossing that into the oven. 20-40 minutes later I expect my nose to be in ecstasy and shortly there after my belly to be full and happy. Soooo, since I am such a casserolian I realized one day that I need a mode of transportation for my beloved one dish wonders. The glass lids on my corningware are not suitable for car trips so I improvised something that ended up doing the job but was a one-way venture only. I was lucky enough to be dropping off a casserole to a friend who happened to have a casserole carrier she inherited from her grandmother. I stole it quickly and used it until it disintergrated. In this post I will remake this carrier and show you how to make your own to fit your casserole dishes. I made mine out of only lightweight cotton but feel free to add insultating batting.
1) Grab your biggest casserole dish and place it on a large sheet of paper (I used the butt end of a roll of newspaper print) and trace your dish, rounding any sharp edges. Next, measure the height of your dish, divide it in half and add that all around your traced shape. Add your seam allowance (I prefer 1/2'') all around. Cut out your pattern piece.
2) On a fold piece of quilting cotton (I used Clothworks), trace your pattern piece and cut it out. You should have 2 pieces, a top and a bottom. Set your bottom piece aside. On your top piece, measure and mark 3.5'' in all around your piece. With a fabric marker connect all these marking until you have a shape similar to your top piece. Cut it out so you have a hole in the middle of your top piece and the remaining top piece is 3.5'' wide.
3) Cut 2 straps 15'' long by 4'' wide. Fold strap in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold each long side toward the center and press. Fold the strap in half again with raw long edges tucking toward the center fold and press again. Top stitch down the strap on both sides. Repeat for second strap. Fold your top piece in half along the length and mark the center. Pin each strap short end 2-3'' from the center mark on either side of the center mark, matching the raw short ends with the outside edge of the top piece. Baste straps in place. With wrong sides together, pin and stitch the top piece to the bottom piece.
4) Cut 4 yds of 2'' wide bias trim from a coordinating solid quilting cotton and 1 yd of 4'' wide bias trim. Press both trim pieces into a double fold. Using the 2'' trim apply it to the outside raw edge of the casserole carrier. Apply the 4'' bias trim to the inside hole of the casserole carrier leaving a 2'' gap for the drawstring. Serge or zig zag stitch the remaining 2'' bias trim to use as the drawstring. Thread it through the casing your created with the 4'' bias trim with a bodkin or a safety pin. Knot each end several times until the knot is bigger than the opening. Place your casserole in your carrier and pull the drawstring. It will tighten the whole carrier around your dish to secure it and the lid in place. This carrier can adjust to any shape dish. I've used mine for oblong and round. It is great and very handy.
December 30, 2013
Last year I purchased a killer sweater knit dress for a wedding. I was newly post partum and depressed to be dress shopping so soon after baby but there I was shopping. I glumly grabbed a dress in a color that I hoped would bring life to my face. As I tried it on though something glorious happened: it fit and it looked good. As I stood transfixed by my image in non-lounge pants listening to angels sing in the background, I did the math. It must be the sweater knit. I mean think about it, the sweater knit had enough texture going on to hide any bits I wanted hidden. The lining kept me all tucked in and it draped instead of clung. It was a dream. When our sweater knits came in I was determined to recreate the dress for the blog so all can create a delicious dress that is sure to make you feel sexy, look sexy and eat too.
To create your pattern grab a fitted t shirt and a fitted skirt. Lay one over the other lining up the waists and folding in any bits that hang out (my t shirt flared a little at the hem). Trace the outline being careful to mark each neck line. I do this by first tracing the back neckline then I use a pin to poke holes along the outline of the front neck. Once the dress is removed I trace the holes with my pen. Mark the center line of your pattern and mark the center as the fold line. Add your favorite seam allowance (mine is 1/4'' on knits). Trace the sleeve of the t shirt too. Cut one front and one back from both the sweater knits and lining. Cut two sleeves from the sweater knit only.
Stay stitch the neck lines on the lining. Stitch the shoulders together of the sweater knit and the lining. With right sides facing pin and stitch the neckline of the sweater knit to the lining. Then stitch up the sides of the sweater knit and then stitch up the sides of the lining. Stitch up the side seam on each sleeve. Turn the dress inside out and pin the sleeve in place and stitch it to both the sweater knit and the lining.
Hem the bottom of the dress and each sleeve. Turn the dress right side out and enjoy. This quick but great dress is perfect for work with a cardigan or blazer, for a date with strappy shoes and a clutch or with boots and a scarf for a day with friends. Mix and match your sweater knit to your lining for a fun effect or coordinate perfectly for a more classic look. I might even suggest an animal print jersey lining under a sheer sweater knit for fun.
December 22, 2013
Lace is all over my favorite stores right now so it inspired me to recreate the look for a holiday party dress. I love all the scallop edge laces we have in stock right now; it creates a great look and saves time on hemming. I chose an easy pattern, Butterick 5181, to modify with a lace overlay by basically making the dress twice. First, I stitched up a grey dress from broadcloth as the lining then I stitched up the lace overlay but I changed it up a bit.
After I cut out all of my pattern pieces (more on the skirt pieces in a bit) I trimmed off the remaining scallop edge at 1.5'' to use on the armholes and the neckline. I stitched them all scallop edges together using a french seam and then I added it to the raw edges of the arms and neckline. After I stitched the scallop edge to the neckline and armhole I finger pressed the seam allowance towards the scallop and topstitched it in place.
When I cut the skirt I placed the pattern piece bottom on the scallop edge but added 2'' to the bottom so it would hang longer than the grey lining and create a peek-a-boo effect.
Once the dresses were complete except for the zipper, I layered the lace overlay on top of the grey dress and carefully pinned the waist bands together and topstitched the overlay to the lining to complete the dress. I then inserted a colorful invisible zipper just for a little hint of color and fun. The teal zipper pull looks like a little bit of jewelry at the back neck.
This lace was a pleasure to work with and looks amazing. The mechanical stretch means that this lovely dress will not be overly stiff and uncomfortable. This is perfect for holiday parties, New Year's Eve, dates or with colorful leggings and a cardi it makes a great girls night out ensemble. Make it your own with your choice of lace and lining.
December 8, 2013
It's time for another bucket list sewing project!
I have always loved the idea of my own tuxedo, but with very limited reasons to wear one, it seemed like an impractical endeavor. With New Year's Eve approaching, it's the perfect time, but what about after the ball drops? I have a space issue as-is, so I can't really justify a one-time-use project to squeeze into the already cluttered closet.
I remember when I was in high school, I found an old tux jacket at the thrift store and wore that thing constantly, until it was threadbare and the textiles were breaking down. That got me thinking about the idea of a more casual tuxedo -- a trouser and jacket that could be worn together or as separates. Pieces that would go great with a T-shirt or a dressier option, that could mix and match with the rest of my wardrobe.
December 2, 2013
This adorable free pattern and tutorial for a whimsical stuffed deer head (that
you could interpret as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for the holidays) if from the creative mind of Charming Doodle blogger Elisa Clark. She calls herself and ''adventuresome beginning'' sewist, and she has some terrific projects at Charming Doodle. We spotted this project for holiday decorating and wanted to share it with you. Happy Holiday Decorating!
November 28, 2013
It's officially time to churn out some gifts, especially if you like to keep a few around. (I also like to make a few small things for myself while I work on gift projects.) And one of the projects I'm making this year is a simple little travel roll for keeping makeup brushes organized when you're going glam on the road.
This one makes use of a free pattern download from our friends at Hot Patterns! It uses the outer section piece from the Bijoux Baby Jewelry Roll pattern. For my makeup brush roll, I untaped this piece at the join and retaped it so it's not as long, but if you or the person you're making this project for has a lot of makeup brushes, you might want it wider than mine.
November 26, 2013
Tis the season for hostess gifts which are one of my favorite gifts to make and give. I love reciprocating when I've been invited for a good time and good food. One of the best gifts to give is an apron. An apron doesn't need to be sized, is easy to make and easy to customize with colors, details and embellishments. I saw this version at Target a few weeks ago and fell in love. My family spends Thanksgiving and Christmas at my parents' house and twice my mom creates an incredible meal in which I usually repay by cleaning the kitchen. This year I thought I would step up my game and make her a beautiful apron as well, in her favorite color: pink.
September 27, 2013
A few years ago I decorated my porch in burlap for Halloween. I started with this burlap banner and went from there. This year I plan to do even more Halloween decorating with burlap. I'm thinking of a more historical, rustic inspired Halloween with less emphasis on scary and more on the seasonal aspect and that is where the burlap comes in. Burlap is so rustic and a great medium for fall/halloween decorating. Its natural, unkempt appearance makes is easy to work with. I do love decorating for halloween but with so much going on I hate to put up decorations for only one month when I can get several months out of them by decorating for the seasons and not so much the holidays. This way while others are storing Halloween decorations and breaking out the goods for thanksgiving, I can be kicking back with a glass of wine and reading a good book or knitting a new sweater. Here are some of my favorite ideas that can span the holidays:
Burlap Halloween Treat Bags from Craft Unleashed. You can use them as name cards at thanksgiving.
Handpainted Halloween Burlap Table Runner (complete with tutorial to paint your own) from Knockoff Decor. Paint it with a fall scene on the other side.
This Ella Claire Burlap Buntingis so lovely and perfect for sofisticated spooky decor.
U Create has the most adorable Ghost Halloween Lights I have ever seen.
Finally, Fall/Halloween Decor would not be complete without a pumpkin. I love Adelyn Stone's version here. Perfect for hall tables, tablescapes and niches.
View our selection of burlap here.
September 18, 2013
Every month I try to feature an up & coming individual blogger but this month I threw out all guidelines to find something different and to find new projects for the up-coming holiday season (we need all the help we can get when it comes to churning out those handmade gifts). I found Somewhat Simple: a collaborative blog written, photographed and produced by a team of talented ladies. This crafty blog is dedicated to projects of all kinds, especially food. Oh the Food! The food section is divided up by meals or purpose: appetizers, breakfast, cakes and drinks. I was drooling at the watermelon coolers and that is only the top post. There are also tips on spicing up instand hot cocoa, sangria and strawberry julius. Now I must tell you about the cupcakes. I love a good cupcake espcially with buttercream. You will find plenty here, like the neopolitan or the homemade hostess cupcakes.
Now none-food related crafts. You will find projects from fabric, yarn, paper and more at Somewhat Simple. The collection of pillow tutorials is fun. The section on kids' crafts is awesome, chalk full of great rainy day, summer time and play date activities. This is my first time visiting a blog that featured wood as a medium and I must say I am all about the wooden bunting. What a great addition to a kids room. Finally if you have been looking for a good yarn wrapped letter tutorial, look no further. I am crazy for these fun letters and very much want to add them to one or both of my girls' rooms. I can also see them in my studio over my yarn shelves proclaiming "Yarn". I adore stating the obvious.
Please check out Somewhat Simple. Come for the cupcakes, stay for the cupcakes and read up on many other great projects when you get tired of cupcake recipes.
All pictures are from Somewhat Simple and are their property.
July 21, 2013
This year, I am taking steps early to make sure that I have ready gifts on-hand when the holidays roll around. I always get frustrated when I'm invited to a party or cookie swap or caroling event, but I don't get to relax and enjoy the time with family and friends because I've worked myself into a frazzle trying to make sure I have a gift so I don't fall victim to empty-handedness syndrome. I get equally frustrated when I have to give something that has no personal touch because I was ill-prepared.