Denim Cat


This whole project just fell together by itself without any planning, really.  I was actually just trying to see if my ink stamps would stamp onto denim scraps for something else, but I loved the way the cat looked in that blue ink on the blue denim and I wanted to do something with her.

I thought for awhile and decided to go ahead and cut the piece smaller (and yes, it’s cut not really square on purpose) and sew it to a piece of muslin (or it might be linen, I can’t recall) that I had in my scrap box.  I still wasn’t sure what I was going to make.  Sometimes it’s fun to surprise yourself.  I stitched all the way around using a little zig zag stitch –really fun!  I have to say I’m enjoying how confident I’m getting when using the sewing machine.  I am pretty good at making bobbins and changing thread, both things that used to sometimes put me into tears.  I can also change the feet (altho sometimes I still struggle with that, surely the machine moves on it’s own!)

Anyway, the fabric set her off nicely, but the denim was a little frayed (I forgot to mention I washed the scrap after I the stamping had dried because part of my experiment was to see if the stamp dye was really colorfast.  It was, it faded just slightly, and to a pleasing effect).  But the fabric did fray slightly, so I pulled them a little more until I liked the result.   I also gave her a golden eye with some gold metallic thread I have, using a french knot or a close approximation.

It was then that I decided she would look charming in a frame!

And I have frames.  I don’t know why, but I just have a collection of frames that I plan to use.  I can never get rid of a frame or turn one down if offered.  I looked through them and found one I thought was perfect.  I cut the muslin (or linen) to fit, put it in place with double sticky tape, put the frame back on (it was one of those with those little devilish spikes so my husband had to help me so I didn’t poke holes in my fingers).

And the result, I think, really is charming.  Blue on blue.  She will be off in the mail in a day or two. As the project emerged I also realized who the perfect recipient was.  I know she’s going to a wonderful home.  🙂

Now, time to head to Handmade Monday.  A little late, but I have to see what everyone else has done.  Come on, there are always amazing things!

Draw Me an Elephant!

When my youngest son was little he used to ask me to draw him elephants. I’m not sure why. I wasn’t particularly good at it, but I guess he liked elephants (what kid doesn’t?) and I always said yes, and so it was one of our “things”. I was trying to think of something to make this weekend with an extra jean’s leg and it occurred to me that a little stuffed elephant would be a fun surprise thing to send him, now that he and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child.

I won’t do a tutorial on it, since it was so simple. I just drew one on computer paper, cut it out (be sure to cut it bigger than the final size to account for seams!) and used that as a pattern. I like to draw on dark fabric (and glass for that matter) with silver sharpie markers. Draw on the wrong side.

Cut it out, and then stitch it up except for the back. Use something like a chopstick to turn the legs and trunk right side (don’t make the trunk too thin or you will have a really difficult time turning it!). I actually think they make a tool for this, and I might try to find one and buy it.

Stuff it with batting (mostly full), add your eyelet for an eye if you want to (altho I would not consider this baby safe as I think over time that could come off and be a choking hazard, like a button) and hand stitch most of the back up, finish stuffing and hand stitch the rest of it up.

Easy! I thought it was really cute. Now I need to get it off in the mail. 🙂

Denim & Lace

This turned out so girly, I’d almost wish I made it for me!  So, here it is, Handmade Monday again, and here I am, all ahead of the game, or at least on time!  When you get done here please check out some of the other wonderful blogs by clicking on the link above. I always get great ideas, plus some of them are really funny (and there are recipes!).  They actually keep me going.  🙂

This week I spent making another Jean Purse, this one is a little simpler than the last one, but I really like it.  It’s also a gift, and I hope it’s well received.  But I have to say, I just really like the process of coming up with the idea, troubleshooting the problems and learning how the sewing thing works! I don’t know what I’ll do when I run out of people to make them for, because I can imagine them just stacking up around here. 🙂

Anyway, please go check out my latest creation Drawstring Jean Purse. BTW, Annie is modeling the purse over there. I realized she has been slacking, so expect to see her more often around the blog.


Planning After the Fact

I suppose that is a contradiction of sorts.  Or at least it might seem like a bad idea. But it seems to work for me.  I don’t follow patterns all that well, and sometimes it’s just more fun to make it up as I go along.  Of course that also means that I end up making more work for myself or that things don’t turn out, or that in the end I realize that the project could have been better or easier.

Let me back up.  I made a purse out of the leg of a pair of jeans I couldn’t wear anymore.  I mulled around the idea for awhile, and finally decided to use the leg instead of the top part (which I did years ago when I was a teenager and they were cool in the 1970s).  I looked online at various ideas, but didn’t see anything that really struck me so I just decided to go for it and let it lead me where it would.  It seemed like the perfect project to help me learn how to use my new machine and remember how to do the few things I already know how to do, sewingwise.

I had to buy a few supplies that I don’t keep on hand anymore (or if I do they have managed to hide themselves so well that I finally gave up looking).  That took some time as our local craft store has a pretty thin selection of sewing notions, as well as our closest Walmart.  They used to have a fabulous fabric section but several years ago they did away with it, and now they carry very little in the way of sewing supplies.  Sad.  But I was able to scrounge up what I needed and make a sort of a plan (which fell apart as I went along) and got to work.

I didn’t take very good photos since my plan was such a non-plan, but I will try to explain what I did.  It wasn’t really very complicated.  In the end I was pleased enough with the purse to send it on as a gift, so it could have been worse!  You can find the gory details here at Jeans Purse with Heart.

And please go check out Handmade Monday.  I have been very negligent with my blog and with my good friends over there.  I’ve been sick since we got back from our vacation, and have not been keeping up very well.  So Please go over there and say hi, they do the best stuff!  In fact, they are the reason I am trying to learn to sew!  🙂

Finished Purse