royal baby tea time

In honor of a certain prince’s arrival, I decided to bring out some of my royal themed tea things. I didn’t have a full party (like I did with the royal wedding), just made some scones and put up a bit of bunting. But it was so much fun that I might have to have another, more lavish celebration. I did, however, sew up something new to go with my British collection: an English heart-shaped potholder. It was made using this tutorial, and I’ve been employing it as a little tea mat. As you can see, my Duffy bear matched the festivities so well, I had to include him.

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It was a happy little party for the littlest royal!

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sweet dreams

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I’ve had the intention of making pillowcases for a long time, and yesterday I suddenly decided I wanted to go ahead and try one. However, sometimes I am blinded by the push to finish a project and I forge ahead when perhaps I shouldn’t. You see, I didn’t realize how much fabric a pillowcase with French seams eats up (a lot!). So I had to go hunting through my collection of fabric for something “pillowcasey”  that I also had in abundance. I really didn’t want to go to the fabric shop and spend money on this project, so this is what I came up with.  In hindsight, I think I would have been better off  buying some more fabric for the band, as I had to patch it together. But, live and learn.

I used the roll-it-up pattern, and I must say, it was very simple and straightforward. I would think it would be a breeze if – 1) you have enough fabric, and 2) you aren’t concerned about directional prints. I had two directional prints that I wanted to go a certain way, but even so,  it wasn’t that tricky. And now that I know how easy the basic pattern is, I think I’ll investigate adding a ruffle next time.

*The website that offered the pattern also has links and suggestions of various organizations you can donate your completed pillowcases to, as they are trying to reach a million pillowcase donations. I think this is an excellent idea for those of us who like to sew, but end up making more than we need.

playing favorites

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We all have projects we are especially fond of — those items that are satisfying to make, not too difficult, and result in something (hopefully) beautiful and necessary. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of these quilted pouches. They are modification of this excellent wristlet tutorial. I particularly like the softness and heft of quilted accessories.

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The nice thing about these mini patchwork pouches is the freedom of choice it allows you. You can have a different fabric for every square, or coordinate with just a few. I also like finding a cute lining fabric– something that will make you smile every time you open it.

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Most of these were created as gifts, so it was fun to choose fabrics with the recipient in mind. I must say, I no longer fear zipper application, but I don’t exactly relish the task. I know as long as I have my seam ripper near by, I’ll be fine.

bambi, dear

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A while ago, I happened to find some fabric in the clearance bin with lovely Bambis all over it.  It was such a good price, I couldn’t pass it up. However, I knew right away I was going to have trouble using it because it had two qualities I try to avoid when shopping for fabrics: it was primarily a bold, dark color, and it was a large scale print– Most of my projects tend to be tiny and I have a fairly consistent color palette of pales and pastels.

But yesterday, I was searching through my fabrics for something I could use to make new coasters. (The ones I made only a few months ago are pretty tea-stained already). I was looking for a darker fabric, and of course Bambi popped up!

Now, to tone down the deep dark field of green that is most of the fabric, I framed the little Bambi tableaus in some light pinks and greens that will match the rest of the decor in my home. I made the coasters large enough to rest a teapot on, and was happy to have found my first use for Bambi.

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Kiki to Lala

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Do you know Kiki and Lala? They are perhaps better known as Sanrio’s Little Twin Stars. Kiki (the little boy) is, according to Sanrio, “curious, and a little cheeky at times.” Lala, his twin sister, “loves drawing and writing poems. She is a little timid and cries easily.” I can identify with her 🙂

Their sweet pastel world and airy style have made them a favorite character set for over thirty years. I thought I’d share some of my favorite images and give a peek of some Little Twin Stars fabric I recently acquired.

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Of course I love the ones with swans!

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They look so cute in their yukata.

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Here is my little stash of Little Twin Stars fabric. Little is the operative word, because these fabric pieces are just scraps– an eighth of a yard, tops. I do have one larger piece as well, but not enough to make anything substantial. So I am wondering what to use this fabric for. I’m thinking of a small quilt perhaps, like doll size. Or maybe a tiny patchwork tote? I’m not sure…

While Little Twin Stars fabric is harder to find than Hello Kitty or My Melody, it is available on Etsy, ebay, and probably some other fabric import sites. Often you could get a bundle of small pieces like the one above relatively cheaply.

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For now, I have these little pieces tucked away in my Uniqlo Little Twin Stars bag. Waiting for inspiration to strike.

bow making

I have been making bows for a long time. When I was in sixth grade, I even had my own little hair bow business. I guess I lacked the tenacity to make much profit, but I certainly made a lot of bows. There were plenty of ribbon-wrapped pencils in the oven (for the curls of course!) at my house.  And I usually spent most of my allowance on spools of grosgrain and hot-glue sticks.

Over the years my love of bow making hasn’t diminished, and I still like to while away an afternoon sewing bows of all sizes. Recently I tried a new project: making a scrunchie or chouchou. I guess I never made them before since I’ve never been one to wear them. However, I saw some pictures of the “bunny ears” style scrunchie that looked so cute, I had to give it a try. I was happy to find out they are not too tricky to make, and you can definitely slip some lace into the seams to make them more special 🙂

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I think these are perfect for keeping your hair out of your face during your morning routine or when you want a quick and easy ballet bun.