Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Rapunzel and tower

For Halloween, Gwyneth wanted to dress up as Rapunzel. 

Rapunzel and tower 2

Tangled is her favorite movie and so we I had lots of fun making this dress.  Pascal (the green lizard) was from the movie as well, although I didn't make him.  

We had an excellent backdrop for photos here in the city (Minneapolis).  The tower in the background is the Witch's Hat Tower in Prospect Park (You can read more about it here, if you're interested.)  It's one of the original water towers in the city.  Gwyneth Rapunzel absolutely loved playing around the tower, despite the chilly 50 degree weather.  (Don't worry, her coat was handy to put on between photos.)

Rapunzel + Pascal sitting

For the dress:: I began with a pattern from Simplicity (2065) and made a few changes in construction and the decoration.

Rapunzel dress

I used all cotton for the fabrics (and lace).  The majority of the fabric was KONA in purple.  The exterior skirt was Country Classic Cotton Solids - in purple.  I've never used the latter cotton fabric (and I won't ever again).  I wanted the exterior skirt to be very slightly darker than the underskirt (just like Rapunzels') and that was the best match I could get without ordering more fabric online.  Well let me just say, I will never consider myself a fabric snob again.  The quality difference was obvious when sewing side by side.

Without realizing it, I conducted a comparison of the two cottons.  I had similarly cut fabric pieces for the exterior and interior skirt (one in KONA another in the inexpensive cotton), used the same thread, same wound bobbin, same needle and the same machine.  The Country classic cotton kept getting threads caught by the needle and pulled the fabric.  Thus there were many tiny created puckers and it was just awful.  The KONA sewed perfectly -- no thread pulling, no puckers.   It was perfect.

Anyway. . . . I digress.

bodice details

The bodice has grommets with decorative lacing.  The stripes on the sleeves were made with cotton bias tape laid flat and sewn into place.  I decided not to add the long sleeves with lace or netting on the bottom -- it just felt like it would rip while playing.  Instead I just added a bit more lace at the bottom of the sleeve (which matches the bottom of the underskirt).

skirt details

The overskirt detail matches Rapunzel's dress pretty well.  I carved a stamp (directions for carving a stamp can be found here) and used some tulip glitter fabric paint in purple.  At the bottom edge I just made a few dots in the paint.  The underskirt has cotton eyelet lace all the way around the bottom along with some decorative leaf stitching that my machine does.

Rapunzel hair - braid

Rapunzel's wig kept getting in her face and all over, so we braided it and it worked much better.

Rapunzel + Pascal

Well, this Rapunzel is very happy with her dress (and the fact that she's out of the tower at last). . .

dancing Rapunzel

and ready to dance and spin . . . . . and trick-or-treat!

Dancing Rapunzel 2

Friday, October 26, 2012

To Market, To Market

Although I'm not able to attend Quilt Market in Houston this weekend, I was able to contribute some of my latest patterns with the beautiful new organic fabric line Havana from Monaluna.  These are my own patterns and will be coming out soon!  Yay!  It's so exciting!






Also over at the Pellon booth -- I have three little bags!  There will be a tutorial for this bag on Pellon's website and mine up next week so you can make these! 


So if you're at Market this weekend -- stop by Monaluna and Pellon and check these out!  (and send me some pictures!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Soup Art Homage

Here's a re-post in case you missed it!
soup can art, final

I'm a big fan of art - all kinds, all periods.  I've wanted to do an homage to Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans for a while.  I had thrown around many ideas in my head, but hadn't really done much yet.  Well, for the 50th anniversary of the artwork, Campbell's soup company came out with some colorful labels.

soup cans

I started with an 8" x 8" canvas and painted it a metallic can color (I used Martha Stewart's Metallic Acrylic Craft paint in Sterling).  The 8" x 8" canvas is large enough to hold six labels easily.

painted canvas

Carefully remove the label at the back of the can with an x-acto knife.  (If you're not using the can of soup right away, grab a sharpie and write what it is on the can.)  Carefully trim the labels to the size you'll need to fit on your canvas.

soup can art, 2

Once you have your labels trimmed, layer a small amount of mod podge on your painted canvas and start placing the labels.  Once they've all been placed, smooth it out using a brayer or bone folder, add then add another thin layer of mod podge over the top.

soup can art, 3

Once it's dry, we're going to age it with a bit of transparent iron oxide acrylic paint.  Mix some water with a bit of the paint and using a paper towel, apply it to the surface of the canvas in a circular motion.  A little goes a long way, and you can age it to your liking.


Once this is dry, add a few more coats of mod podge, allowing it to dry completely between coats.

soup can art, 5

And enjoy your modern art!

soup can art

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Race Car Hoodie x 2

Race Car hoodie

A month ago, I made an adorable hoodie for my nephew.  I recently made one exactly like it for my friend's little boy who also loves all things cars and tractors.  They came over for a play date the other day and he was wearing the hoodie!

Adorable in cars

It fit him really well, which I as happy about.  I love making things for friends that are useful, fun and yes, I have to admit, well appreciated.  I've had to learn the hard way in the past that not everyone appreciates hand made items or realizes the value they hold -- not just in cost of materials, but the amount of time it takes to do it.  Anyway, for this friend, I will happily sew!

race car hoodie - RUN

It was so nice of this little guy's mom to bring him over for a play date AND have him wear the shirt I just made AND help me take photos AND let me post them on my blog today.  Gwyneth also enjoyed the play date!  They had so much fun!

Gwyn and her friend

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Leif Erikson Day

viking ship shirt

Today is Leif Erikson Day.  In honor of the explorer Leif Erikson and my Scandinavian roots, I thought a viking inspired shirt for Connor should be in order.  Don't get excited it's not the Vikings (as in the football team), it's a more traditional viking ship (and definitely no purple and yellow).

viking ship, close-up

I used the freezer paper method (if you don't know how to do this, here's an awesome tutorial.  Wink. Wink.)  I got some inspiration from viking ship images on pintrest and just drew my own directly on the freezer paper.  I couldn't find my x-acto knife to cut it out, so instead I used scissors.  Took a bit longer.

Connor really liked it -- and learning about Leif Erikson Day!  I think also because we had Swedish meatballs from Ikea for dinner.  Yum!

viking ship shirt 2

Monday, October 8, 2012

Little Knit Tunic

brown knit top, 1

Today is the first day of the Kid's Clothing Week Challenge.  If you're not familiar with it, KCWC, is hosted by Elsie Marley and challenges you to sew an hour a day - for a week - on kids clothing.

brown knit top, 2

This morning I made this little top for Gwyneth.  I didn't use a pattern, or really plan one out too much - just kind of winged it.

It turned out pretty well.  I do love how the sleeves look!

sleeve detail

Some of these photos are deceptive.  The middle section of the top is too wide.  You can see it here.  So it easily falls down.  I will have to fix that, but she wouldn't take it off.

too big in the middle

Are you sewing kids clothes this week??

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Folding Fat Quarters

folding fat quarters

There are lots of ways to fold fat quarters.  Since I recently dyed 20 fat quarters, I decided to show you three different ways to fold fat quarters.

three ways to fold flat quarters

I like these three because once folded, they lay flat.  As I mentioned, there are MANY ways to fold them -- here's just three ways.

First we'll look at what I'm calling the standard way (A).  I'm referring to it as the standard way simply because it's the most common way you see them folded at shops and in my opinion, the easiest way to store them stacked on a shelf.

Standard way to fold fat quarters

Start with the fat quarter laying right side down, orientated so that the height of the fat quarter is longer than the width.
1.  Fold in half (fold is at the top).
2.  Fold in half again, folding the bottom up, almost all the way to the first fold, but not quite.
3.  Fold the ends on each side in, meeting at the center.
4.  Fold in half, folding the raw edges into the fold.


Another method to fold the fat quarter is a mini triangle (B).  This is a right isosceles triangle and a nice way to fold for giving the fat quarter as gifts.

folding fat quarters, mini triangle 1

Start with the fat quarter lying right side down.  Orientate the fat quarter so the longer side is going left to right.
1.  Fold in half (fold is at the top).

2.  Fold in half again, folding the bottom up, almost all the way to the first fold, but not quite. (It's upside down in this photo.)

3.  Start folding into triangles by folding the bottom up so that the left side of the fabric is now alined with the top edge.  Continue folding.

folding fat quarters, mini triangle 2

4.  Continue folding the triangles in line with the fabric.

5.  Stop when you've reached the end and there isn't enough fabric to make another triangle.

6.  Tuck the extra bit of fabric into the folds of the triangle.  It will hold itself together.


The last method I'll show you is my new favorite - the equilateral triangle (C).  I purchased a fat quarter from a friend and this was how it was folded.  I carefully unfolded it so I could see how to fold it back up that way. 

folding fat quarters, equilateral 1

Start with the fat quarter lying right side down.   Orientate the fat quarter so the longer side is going left to right.
1.  Fold in half (fold is at the top).

2.  Fold in half again, folding the bottom up, almost all the way to the first fold, but not quite.

3.  Slightly fold in both ends so that the bottom angle is roughly 60 degrees.
folding fat quarters, equilateral 2

4.  Start folding both ends in toward the center, similar to the mini triangle, but folding with 60 degree angles to create an equilateral triangle.
5.  Continue folding both ends toward the center.
6.  You should end up with both triangle folds touching each other.
7.  Simply take one side of triangle folds and tuck them into the other side.  This will stay held shut and makes a nice way to give fat quarters.  If you're giving more than one, you can pile them up and tie them with ribbon or baker's twine.

Lastly I'll just mention one final way of folding or rather rolling your fat quarter.  Follow steps 1 and 2 (directly above) and then simply start from the left and roll it all the way to the right and tie it with a bit of ribbon or baker's twine.

Hope you found this useful!  Let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Andy Warhol Soup Label Art

soup can art

I'm guest posting over at Mod Podge Rocks today with a fun project using the Andy Warhol soup labels which you can find on Campbell's soup cans right now (at Target).  Go check it out!

soup cans


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