Sunday, February 27, 2011

Felt Foam Cake and Vintage Craft Books

Thank you for all the kind feedback on the dress and the needle books. I thought you might want to see why I have been carrying a needle book around.

This project has been over a year in the planning stages. Someone very special in this house is turning 3 years old next week and I actually managed to finish her gift in advance. Right now, I am basking in that "I am a super mom while 3 loads of laundry remain neglected" feeling.

This cake is made out of foam.  My pal (when her cake is done you will  see it as well) managed to secure the foam at an upholstery shop.  The choice of foam was inspired by Ikat Bag's foam cake; however, this cake is stitched by hand (blanket stitch with 100% cotton yarn).  I saw this post on There is Beauty All Around and decided to try to handstitch the felt around the foam (note: the Beauty All Around cake is not foam, but stuffed. In my cake, each piece of foam is covered by three pieces of felt.  Pin your felt to the foam and stitch around.)  The felt is a combination of wool and polyester.

The embellishments are all glued with fabric glue.  A little jumbo ric-rac, vintage trim for the piping, and the flowers are from A Market Collection's etsy shop.   They could have easily been stitched, but that would have required me to do it prior to stitching it on the foam and I did not plan that far ahead.

Finally, I thought I would also share a little coincidence.  My dad, because he is a great dad, always picks me up vintage craft books from his book sale adventures. He found this one "Easy Bazaar Crafts" by Better Homes and Gardens (c. 1981) and in it was a cake pincushion!!

I think my piping on top looks very similar, yeah '80s!! 
Have a great week and be sure to check out all the great projects at 

A Marvelous Mess

Friday, February 25, 2011

Handy Needle Books

Whenever I go away on vacation, I bring along a hand-stitching project (e.g. these puppets were made on a vacation as was much of this table runner).  So I absolutely love this needle book my pal gave me for Christmas.  The needle book is loosely based on a project found in Ruth Singer's The Sewing Bible (an excellent resource). (Fabric Michael Miller, Birds of Norway one of my favourite fabrics).

I loved my needle book so much I made this one for my BFF's birthday from a large scrap of Amy Butler fabric.

If you want to make a needle book, Tip Nut has a super duper round up here.    The next needle book I plan to  make will be Ever Kelly's needle case. This case is unique as it has dedicated storage for embroidery scissors and very stylish twill tape labels.

Martha Stewart has tutorial for a basic felt needle book here and in Emma Hardy's new book, "Sewing for Children" (p. 82) there are instructions for a needle book that a child who is learning to sew could make.

You can also embellish your needle book to make it extra special.  Sandi over at Embroideroo has a project in Creating Country Threads magazine which makes me smile. Other examples using embroidery on the cover, here and here.

Do you carry a needle book? I would love to see it! Feel free to include a link in the comments.

Have a great weekend and be sure to check out all the great projects at Tatertots and Jello's Weekend Wrap Up Party.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Anda Dress


This was a project that I started last summer and only finished for my holiday. It was a Frock by Friday sew-a-long over at Grosgrain.  You can find the pattern over at Burda.  I would or should have finished it long ago, but I made it too large and the shape wasn't working for me.  So I modified the shape slightly.

This is the setting for the "photoshoot." 


Yup, brown paisley.  I borrowed the Salvatore Ferragamo boots from my sister. I normally wear flip flops and they work equally well.



Works with a cardigan. Note to self: get a better slip.


My next "sewing for mummy" pattern is Built by Wendy Simplicity #3835. Kate over at Harmony and Rosie recently made it and I was completely enchanted.  I picked up the pattern while I was state-side and can't wait to get to work. If this project was any indication, you won't see it until autumn!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Early spring in the Napa Valley

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend.  I just returned home from California.  My sisters and one of our longest, closest friends (another sister in spirit, we grew up on the same street and our families still live on that same sleepy street) met up Napa for a weekend getaway. I have never been away from both my girls and husband for an entire weekend - this was a first.

I saw the promise of spring this weekend.  While the buds on the vines don't break until mid-March, the cherry blossoms, azaleas, cyclamen, magnolia and early lilac were putting on a show.  



Have a wonderful week,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Celebrating the Boy: Cozy Pullover

Before I take off on a blogging break, I want to give a shout out for Celebrate the Boy coordinated by Made and Made by Rae and other bloggers.

I don't have boys and I loved the project posts from last year's celebration.   Lots of great ideas for any little guy in your life.

Here is my first project post.  I made this pullover for my nephew for Christmas. The pattern is the "Cozy Boy's Pullover" by Jil Cappucio for Stitch Magazine (Fall 2010). {Stitch is my favourite sewing magazine}

Although not technically "reversible", the pattern uses many of the same principles of reversible clothing.  It is full lined, you don't see a single interior seam.  I think it looks great, although I my pattern matching was not perfect.

I am taking a little blogging break {visiting my middle sister in San Francisco!}, but I hope to be back next week recharged. This post is linked to
make it wear it