Tag Archives: gift

September Thoughts

What have I been up to? Lots of sewing in actuality. Lots of school. Lots of coffee drinking.

Curtains from flat sheets

I made some curtains from flat sheets from walmart. They were SUPER easy and quick. I made 5 panels for about 20 bucks, in an hour, while photographing the process to do a tutorial on it. Seriously quick.

Curtains from flat sheets

I bought fabric a year ago to make nice curtains for my whole house, and I got through two rooms. So these provide privacy, and I won’t have to worry about them too much as we paint the living room.

Tank into a dress 9/2012

This is one of those tank dresses you’ve seen a hundred times all over the internet. Its a black tank top that came attached to a jacket/cardigan thing I bought. Then I sewed on a yard of this neat fabric that I probably paid a dollar or two for on the Reg Tag table. Its not shiny and satiny on the front, it has a bit of a rough slub to it, but the back is shiny and slippery satin, so it will work with tights in the winter too I think.

Home decorating painting project

I’ve been doing some painting for projects.

Home decorating painting project

Newest addition to the hippo collection. Birthday gift from my momma. I think he’s going to be spray painted silver and hang out in the office.

Home decorating painting project

Before Shots

Home decorating painting project

Aren’t they just lovely?

Then I made a belt to go with the Jaime Dress:



MUCH better with a belt!


I’ve even tried my hand at bread making. The only other time as an adult that I have tried to bake bread or rolls or breadlike items, they have had a strange resemblance to hockey pucks. That’s what happens if you only let it rise half the time. But not this time!

homemade bread that didn't turn out like a hockeypuck!

homemade bread that didn't turn out like a hockeypuck!

I made a simple elastic waist drindl skirt for a friend’s birthday. Loved this fabric. It was a lightweight voile from that Global something or another line at JoAnn’s.

Elastic waist drindl for a friend

Well that’s what I’ve been up to sewing wise. I’m trying to get my studio in order and organized so I can move it to a bigger room and shampoo the carpets. Its currently about half way done. School is keeping me super busy. I quit the regularly scheduled sewing job a while ago, it was SO not the right job for me. I’m glad I did that. I’ve got enough freelance work to keep me busy for the next few months, so that’s exciting. As always, my sewing to do list is a hundred times longer than the actual time I have to sew for myself. I find myself anxiously awaiting graduation. I’ve got quite the case of “senioritis” and I think mine is worse than all the kids I go to school with because I’ve been working at it for so much longer than them. This will pass, and I’m trying to enjoy it while its here.

Anyone have an interest in a tutorial for the curtains? Maybe it would be a good thing to increase readership.


Current projects

baby in a field

Let me be honest, I’m super unmotivated to create anything lately.

My sewing room is a disaster and I’ve been sewing in the dining room, which is half full of boxes. Blue Hippo Arts is in the process of buying a house, which has been rather arduous for us. Everything feels very up in the air, and that is a difficult place for me to live for very long.

I decided to not take class this summer, so I have a ton of time I could be sewing right now, but I’m not. I feel like its not even worth talking about. So for now, I’m going to give you some pictures and tell you about the stuff that’s on tap to sew soon.

1. Dress for a graduation next weekend

(If you click on the line drawing, it will take you to the downloadable pattern at the Burda website.)

I wish I could find my Burda Plus Spring/Summer 2011 to show you the picture from the magazine.  It looks lovely, much lovelier than the line drawing.  Alas, I am ALWAYS misplacing my darned Burdas.  Oh well.  I’m sure it will turn up sooner rather than later.

Its going to be in this lovely fabric:
The fabric for the graduation dress

I’ve also begun a set just for whatever I make out of this issue of Burda. You can see it here.

So far I have altered the pattern, and sewn the muslin for the skirt. The altered muslin for the bodice is cut, partially pinned, and ready to be sewn.
altered muslin of Burda Plus Dress 411

altered muslin of Burda Plus Dress 411

2. Presents for graduation. Ok, I can’t actually talk about these because I hear that at least one of the recipients has read or reads my blog. Sorry. Lame, I know, but here are some of the fabrics I’ll be using.

Mystery project 1

Mystery project 2

Hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later, with completed projects to show you!

Knitting Needle Roll Up

I mentioned here that I was making something out of this pretty sherbet-esque fabric. I wanted to make this last year for my mother-in-law’s birthday, but a whole lotta life got in the way last spring, and it didn’t get done. So I made it for Christmas! She has a ton of knitting needles, and really liked the present. Yay!

Knitting needle roll up

Please excuse the background of the pictures. We arrived at the in-law’s and I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture yet. So I took it out of the gift bag and laid it out in the back of the car on top of all the presents and coats and luggage to take the pictures. It took about 10 times longer than I expected to make it, and I want some photographic evidence of all that hard work!

Knitting needle roll up inside unrolled

Sewing Mojo

Why is it that it’s never around when you need it?

I have a boat load of sewing to get done between now and tomorrow evening at 6. Have I sewn anything at all since I got done with school on Saturday evening? Nope!

I organized my sewing area though! That’s something.

Since I haven’t accomplished much, I thought I’d show you what I’m working on. In the off chance any of the recipients are reading this, I’ll have to be vague. 🙂
Present One:
Christmas present in the making

Present two:

Christmas present in the making

inside present two:

Christmas present in the making

Christmas present in the making

Present three:

Christmas present in the making

There are more presents that need to be made. But they either aren’t photographed or can’t be put online just yet.

Here’s hoping my mojo returns!

Happy Holidays!

A gift for a soon to be born nephew!

Inspired by this tutorial at Lil Blue Boo, I made a little wall hanging for my nephew’s bedroom.  You should definitely go check it out, Ashely at Lil Blue Boo does some very neat projects.  I decided to go with a momma and baby fish theme because Jackson’s mom and dad are pretty into fishing (as is the rest of my family.)


I made mine slightly differently than Ashley did, mostly because I didn’t want to go to the store.  I just made it work with supplies from my stash, and that of my mother.    We didn’t have any hardboard, so I gesso’d up some mat board.  Next time I’ll use hardboard so I don’t need to worry about it curling up once its been gesso’d. I cut it out to have a quarter inch space on all sides of the frame’s mat.  Turns out, thats how big the pre-cut mat is.  So for my frame that holds a matted 8″x10″ picture, the window is only 7.5″x9.5″.  We didn’t realize this until we were mounting the thing though! Oh well!  It just doesn’t float.  Learn from my mistake,  measure your window first!


Here we have some of the mat board with painting experiments on it.

I drew out the design I wanted on some plain sketchbook paper, and then colored it in to help me decide if that was going to be too much blue, or too much green or whatever. I also used the design from a wall hanging I did previously for the seaweed. Then I began to trace the fish and seaweed onto a hard cardboard using some variety of carbon paper.  I wouldn’t use it again, because I couldn’t erase any of it.


cut out a piece of mat board for the dark blue strip down the side. Then I cut out my little fishies & seaweed flourishes with an exact-o knife.  I don’t know what that cardboard was used for originally, but it was tough stuff!  Cutting it out was by far the hardest part of this whole project.

My big momma fish is half on/half off the extra dark blue strip of mat board.  So I cut out a small triangle of mat board, and then glued it onto her tail so it would be supported and all on the same level with the head.


After everything was cut out, I started painting.  I painted his name with rubber cement first.  It acts like liquid frisket, and keeps the area under it the base color, in this case white, and provides sharp edges.  The rubber cement was a little harder to use than normal masking fluid, only because it isn’t really made to be painted with.  It was difficult to make sure that the whole area was covered in a pretty thick layer, but it worked out just fine.


Next came the background, the seaweed and the fishies.  I wasn’t too worried about it being precise and just free handed it.


And I ended up adding glitter to a lot of the elements.  Real fish are sort of sparkly, so why not have Jackson’s fish be sparkly?!


I glued everything down, and once everything was dry I started adding dots, and “sewing” outlines, and little jewels.  I’m not usually one to embellish things this way, but I think it really adds something.  So I just kept adding things.  Then I decided I wanted to put a quote in from Dr. Seuss.   Bad idea! I hadn’t planned for it, and it just didn’t look right.  Then my paint pen stopped working correctly and being really spotty.   So I ended up repainting the background sea part.  I don’t like the result as well as I liked the first one, but I was in a time crunch, and it definitely looks better than it did with the splotchy, unplanned quote.


After it was all dried and glued together and properly glitterized, it got a few coats of spray on acrylic sealant and then was framed! Framing is not my area of expertise so my dear mother helped me out.  We ended up gluing the piece itself to white paper that was glued to the backing of the frame and elevating the frame’s mat with double sticky foam like Ashley did.

When all was said and done with it, I decided I like it.  I gave it away as a baby shower gift the afternoon it was framed, and it seemed to be well received.  I am considering making another one for a baby niece who has a big room with empty pink walls right now.  It will probably be larger, and perhaps pink.  I’m not a fan of doing all the pink for girls!/blue for boys! stuff, but her room is pink.  We’ll see.  I collaborate with my mom a lot on creative ventures, and she mentioned that her cricut machine can cut mat board with a special attachment.  That might open some more doors since the cutting part was the hard part.

~~Amy Jo