July 2009

Some Pillow Talk

July 30, 2009

As I was going through closets and drawers, organizing, of course, I came across a large pile of sheets that had not been used in a long time. I packed them into the bag to donate, and then realized that the fabric was perfect for a few sewing projects.

The sheets were actually favorites of mine, but apparently my hubby was not into large flowers adorning our bed, so I must have tucked them away for a later time.

So, what to do with king size sheets? Pajamas of course!!!!!

I love pajamas, and I am pretty sure that I have many a blog post to prove that. First, I just love to hang out around the house in fun lounge pants, and also, who could possibly have too many pairs of pajamas????

Once I was done with the PJ’s, I was staring at the mound of pillow cases on my sewing table, and I knew that they would make some cool little tote bags for my night time knitting, or a fun overnight when I stay at my parent’s house.

The cool thing about using a pillow case to make a tote is that if you use the open side of the case, you already have a great hem for the bags, and all that you need to do is attach the handles to the top. Seriously, this was about a 20 minute project, and it yielded a fun little bag that I am sure will have many uses.

Repurposing is a ton of fun. Finding new ways to use old items seems like the perfect way to live simply and creatively. I have a ton more sheets, and I see a lot more pajamas in my future, as well as my kiddos.


Saving Grace

July 29, 2009

I am always amazed by how one small event can so greatly impact another. Last night, my husband went to bed at 8 since he had to get up at 2 am to catch his flight this morning. On nights like these, I try and stay awake to make sure that he gets up and gets some help. At about 11 o’clock, I decided to help keep myself awake by sewing up a tote bag I had been thinking about for a few days.

At around midnight I sat down to embroider the two roses, and I was pretty engulfed 70 minutes later when I looked up to some of the most intense lightning that I have seen in a while. Now, Colorado has been experiencing very odd and strong weather lately, and we have had two floods in the past two weeks. This is really not normal for this area, and in fact, in the seven years that I have been here, we have been in a constant drought. I am not kidding when I say that I sat for about 90 seconds, watched as the wind picked up and whipped everything around, and then as the sky opened up and the torrential rain poured through. For anyone who has lived in a place like Arizona, you know what I mean when I say Monsoon. We had a very damaging storm last week, but that was about an hour of torrential rain, and it crept up on us, rather then hitting so quickly. I ran to the basement to check the sump pump, and literally, by the time I ran back upstairs to get my husband, grab some buckets and towels, and get back down stairs, the basement was flooding.

Needless to say, it was a long night. The funny thing was that if I had not been sitting in the dining room, embroidering that bag, waiting for my husband’s alarm to go off, I would never have known that they storm was hitting us the way that it did.

The tote bag is now one of my favorites, for many reasons. First, I love the tiny rose fabric, and it has been sitting in my stash for some time now. I used a mixture of cream linen with the rose, and the linen is so sturdy and clean that I am heading back to the fabric store today to pick up some more.

The pocket was an afterthought, and so it was stitched by hand (which turned out to add a personal touch on the piece).

The two roses are from Sublime Stitching, and they added the perfect touch. I think that one of the true of joys of sewing for me right now is that I am getting to a place where I am getting creative, and thinking on my own rather then always looking for a pattern. It is like cooking without a recipe, just letting your instincts be the guide. As I am getting older, I seem to be following my intuition more, and I am not so afraid of “screwing” up or getting it wrong.

The tote itself is super easy to make, and I am sure that there are thousands of patterns out there to use as a guide. I think that I have fallen in love with adding some fun touches to my bags, and I can see using embroidery and applique becoming pretty common in my sewing.

The bag will be always be a reminder that even in those chaotic times that make you want to cry, there is always something pretty to be made to lift your spirits.