reiny days and mondays


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Ruffle Apron II

see kate sew

Here’s my second Ruffle Apron!

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This was for my friend Emma’s bridal shower. She’s getting married later this month and I can’t wait!

And because I’m a bad friend, I didn’t know that her fiance does all the cooking… but we had a good time laughing over the thought of her fiance wearing this apron while cooking.

I think I’m laughing here because L found a bowl of mac + cheese on the table and just started eating it. IMAG2484[1]

(If you look closely you’ll see I’m wearing a yet-to-be-blogged Washi in Cynthia Rowley Pointillism. It’s my latest Washi and I get compliments on it EVERYWHERE I go. The fabric is that awesome.)

I just used two fabrics I picked out at Jo-Ann’s in the quilting section. I love red/coral with teal! I’m especially fond of this scattered white dots on red.

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I guess I can’t be TOO bad of a friend… I embroidered her initial on the pocket, for goodness sakes.
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Ruffle Apron I

see kate sew

I love it when a plan comes together.

I couldn’t think of what to make for my friend Liz for her wedding. I’d already powered through napkins, oven mitts, and coasters for her bridal shower, so I shot her an email and begged her to let me know what I could make for her. She g-chatted me immediately and said she wanted an apron. Win.

The next day, Ruffles 2013 started at See Kate Sew and she was offering up a free (for now) apron pattern. DOUBLE WIN!

I asked Liz what her fave animal was and she said elephant, so I sent her links to a bunch of elephant fabrics and she picked out Michael Miller Little Elephants. I was determined to use the leftover from her napkins as an accent but I had to get reaaaally creative as I had very little left over. I couldn’t squeeze out ties for the neck straps so those became one shorter non-adjustable strap. I at least got a couple of ruffles in!

ADORABLE.
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Typical self-conscious, “I don’t know what to do with my hands” pose.IMAG2451[1]

This picture made me realize that I NEED ONE FOR MYSELF.
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THOSE ELEPHANTS. Luckily I have some of the Elephants Toss fabric in the black colorway…
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As the title of this post suggests, I’ve made more than one! And not for me, sadly… it was for my friend Emma’s bridal shower (I know, this fall is crazy with weddings and I love it) which was this morning so that post is coming sooooon!

There will probably be third Ruffle Apron because I’m pretty sure I need one now. With ruffle overload.


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Hopefully the last napkins I’ll ever sew again

Ok, who am I kidding? I will probably make napkins for every bridal shower/wedding forever.

I went to a dear college friend’s bridal shower this weekend and I made her a set of 8 cloth napkins, 4 coasters, and 2 oven mitts. I used this fantastic Michael Miller Edges Ombre print. I really cannot resist when Fabrics.com sends 15% off coupons or runs sales on Michael Miller.

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I used three yards total, and three yards of a navy kona cotton. Making cloth napkins, by the way, is NOT cheaper than buying them unless you insist on buying Williams-Sonoma napkins at 4 for $50. I estimate I spent about $45 for the whole package – just so you get an idea of how much you’ll spend if you use designer fabric. You could probably do it for a lot less but I like to splurge a bit if it’s going to be a present.

It took absolutely every ounce of energy and determination to finish this present, by the way.

I made four napkins. Then I took a picture, put the napkins away so I wouldn’t have to look at them, and sewed something for myself. I think it was my Staple Dress because I can see it in the background.

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Then it was back to napkins. I noticed at some point that if I started and ended the topstitching on a dark blue dot you can hardly see the backstitching! Excellent! (Is that not exciting enough for an exclamation point? I don’t care.)

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Aaaaaand done! As always, I do love a stack of freshly pressed napkins. I just hate getting there.

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The coasters were way easier on my nerves. Partly because I only made four of them, and partly because they’re only four-inch squares rather than SEVENTEEN. Damn the napkins! We were visiting Kev’s super crafty cousin sometime last year and I noticed her cute coasters – she said they were super easy so I Googled them as soon as I got home. I think I used this tutorial (they’re SO easy you never need a pattern or tutorial again if you just do them once), except I don’t use fusible web and I substitute in a layer of Insul-Bright or thin batting.

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Side note: I just found this tutorial for a triangle variation, adorbs! I might need some of these.

The oven mitts were less simple. I sewed them up easily the first time, with an inside and outside fabric and a layer of Insul-Bright. Then I tried them on and couldn’t help but notice how THIN they felt. Not good. I had to unpick them all – and let me tell you, unpicking seams out of Insul-Bright SUCKS. Even if you do it from the fabric side, you get fuzz EVERYWHERE.

I added two layers of low-loft 100% COTTON batting (no polyester, you don’t want melty oven mitts) and resewed, very grudgingly. No good! This time they were so thick that the mitts became tiny. It was around this time that I sounded my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. I unpicked them again – batting is even worse to unpick seams out of and I was proportionally furious with myself. I sewed them up again, with an outside fabric, Insul-Bright, cotton batting, and inside fabric. I forgot to take a picture but I made extra wide bias tape out of the navy kona cotton and bound the layers together with that.

And, FINALLY! Cutie pie oven mitts. I will probably make some for myself someday but I’m going to need some recovery time. I’m ashamed to admit that I seriously considered only making one oven mitt but thankfully I convinced myself (probably with a very large glass of iced coffee) that I needed to make the second one. At this point I was so done with it that I don’t think I took a picture of all the presents together.

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No need tell the bride-to-be how much angry swearing when into her gift. I promise, if you get cloth napkins from me as a gift, you’re clearly high up on my list. (And if you don’t… it probably just means I ran out of time and had to run out and buy something instead. Which has definitely happened. Sorry.)

I have to note – the bridal shower invitation had a blank recipe card enclosed and we were supposed to fill in our favorite recipe to help the couple start a collection of recipes for their new home. So sweet! I chose our favorite recipe for cream of mushroom soup, which is the reason why I never need to buy canned cream of mushroom soup ever again. It’s really quick and so delicious!

Also, no one could believe I made those cloth napkins. I promise, if you make them, everyone will think you’re a hero. A hero with… sewing capabilities? You can even make your own cape.


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Everyday cloth napkins – FINISHED!

This is about how it took me four months to make eight cloth napkins.

You know, the easiest thing in the world. I made holiday ones earlier this year. (After Christmas, no less.)

A few weeks into the new year, we were having guests over for dinner. That usually spurns a little obsessing over making the house perfect. I obviously don’t get out much. I NEEDED cloth napkins. Not holiday ones, either! So hours before they were set to arrive, I whipped up six of these cloth napkins. I had two yards of my beloved windmill fabric but not quite enough of a coordinating fabric. Great. So I had to improvise and use two different fabrics for the second side. Of course I didn’t have enough to make an even eight, so I made six, ironed them up and ran to the kitchen to make dinner.

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This is the one I didn’t have enough of. Love it, by the way, and apparently Joann’s or Joann’s customers do too because they keep printing them in different colors. Sorry, this is the wrong side.

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Make sure you clip your corners! That’s how you get a lovely pointy end. That and shoving a chopstick in there.

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So why did it take me four months? I never finished the last two napkins. Oh, they were cut and pinned together, all right. They just sat on the corner of my craft table, mocking me. You only have six cloth napkins, loser! Get a life! No one loves you because you don’t have a full set of napkins! Something like that.

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Finally, in my Washi Tape frenzy last weekend I decided to take a break and finish up the last two napkins. WHY ARE STRAIGHT LINES SO BORING?! Actually, three or four cloth napkins are really simple to sew together… fun, even. It’s the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth that really hit home how boring it is. It’s how I imagine sewing floor-length curtains would be.

While I was at it, I ironed them all. Really, what better way is there to spend your Friday afternoon than to iron your cloth napkins? I’m only slightly kidding. It’s pretty fantastic to have a beautiful pile of homemade, freshly pressed napkins. Mrs. Potts wasn’t joking when she said “Thank the Lord I’ve had the napkins freshly pressed”. I felt like she was judging me every time she sang that line, and I promise you, we watch that movie A LOT in our house.

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But my, they’re pretty. Glad I got over that little slump.

And of course I’m making a friend cloth napkins and an oven mitt/pot holder set for her bridal shower.


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Windmills in my window

My kitchen door window! It’s the only door we use… seriously, not even guests use the front door because the driveway leads straight up to this side door. When we first moved in – not like we had neighbours – I rigged up a quick kitchen curtain. I had a half yard of a solid blue cotton which reminded me of TARDIS blue which is why I think I picked it up.

I totally went lazy-town with it and just used iron-on hem tape to hem the ends. I don’t think I even bothered to measure it – I just sort of eyeballed it, held it up to the window and decided where to hem it from there. Way technical.

Then I picked up a cheap-o curtain rod from Target and ring clips! I think it was this curtain rod and at the time I used these 1.5″ clip rings which were way too big but I didn’t care, I was home alone all day with a baby for three months. In fact I stole the clip rings from our window dressings from around the house! We have four windows that I’ve used these clip rings on so I just took one from each panel which gave me 8 for this window! Very clever of me.

DSC04621 I also put it up with – wait for it – Command hooks. Not even the nice kind, the small wire ones because I had extras. It took me about a year and a half to finally buy proper-sized clip rings – I found these smaller, more appropriately sized ones (I think they’re 6/8″) at Joann’s – so maybe one day I will upgrade us to the bronze hooks. One day. At least I returned the stolen clip rings to their rightful windows around the house.

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I DID switch out the actual curtain recently with this goooorgeous windmill cotton I bought at Joann’s. Is it weird to have favourite fabrics? Because I totally do and I have frequently expounded on my desire to wrap my home in this pattern. So far it has only extended to this curtain and two throw pillowcases for my living room but I don’t know if I’m done with it yet. I’m thinking kitchen towels.

DSC04622I went the whole nine yards (ha, fabric humour) and actually hemmed all the edges and even added happy yellow rick rack! Full disclosure, I did all this during Hurricane Sandy when we were cooped up in the house for two days… otherwise I may not have put in the effort! I’m definitely glad I did though because I think it is just the happiest little kitchen window ever.

Ok, probably not the happiest just yet. After I switch out to the bronze Command hooks, maybe.