New Sandbox!

Now that it finally feels like summer, my family has been spending A LOT of time outside which got me thinking about building a sandbox. Then I saw this post over at Made and felt even more motivated.

I bought 2 wood boards that were 1 inch thick, 10 inches tall and 12 feet long. I cut them into 4 pieces each 5 feet long so my finished sandbox is essentially 5X5.

We had some wood leftover from an addition we put on our house last year, so I came up with some pieces to make a bench along one side.

This was a really easy project, the kids had a ton of fun helping paint, and it all cost less than $100 (believe it or not the sand is the most expensive part). Thanks for the inspiration Dana!

Hope you had a fun and productive weekend too!


While I wait.....

The final vote for Rae's Spring Top Sewalong was on Friday and I'm patiently awaiting the results. I would love to win, but I'm also so excited to even have made it to the finals.

In any case, I got some time to sew today and I thought I would channel my anticipation into another project for myself. I'm starting to really enjoy this selfish sewing thing!

I used a this top I bought from Ann Taylor Loft as a guide. This top has a casing around the arms and neck with elastic, I shirred mine instead. Much faster, but a little less control over how much it bunches up. My sleeves ended up a little shorter too.

I really like the result and it's a top that I'll wear. And it's yellow! I love yellow, but don't end up buying much yellow. I had this fabric sitting around, one thing I love about having a large fabric stash.

Another winner in my book!


I made the final cut!!!

I'm sooooo excited to have made it to the final round of voting in Rae's Spring Top Sewalong. I hate to beg for votes.....but go check me out along with the other finalists at Made by Rae. Voting starts Friday morning at 10AM Eastern time and will go until 5PM on Saturday.

Here's my top again, in case you haven't seen it.

Wish me luck!


Tote + Tutorial = Totorial

(remember, this is for personal use only.  contact me if you'd like to become a licensed seller)
These days I've been trying hard to work through my fabric stash, mostly to justify buying more fabric! With the end of the school year coming, I decided to figure out a cute teacher gift that would help with my de-stash goal. Here's what I came up with.
I'm a big proponent of reusable bags. But, you don't always want to whip out your smelly grocery bag when you're at the mall or library. So why not make a cute little tote with some beautiful fabric.

Here's what you'll need:

main body of the bag: 2 fabric pieces 15 x 10 inches
contrasting top of bag: 2 fabric pieces 15 x 6 inches
handles: 2 fabric pieces 4 x 16 inches
6 inches of thin elastic
1 button

Fold your piece of elastic in half and baste at the center of one of the 15 inch sides of the main body fabric.

Lay a contrasting panel on top of the main panel, sandwiching the elastic in between, and sew a 1/4 seam. Finish seam with either a zig-zag stitch or serge. Do the same for the other main body and contrasting panels.
Press seam allowance towards the upper contrasting panel and top-stitch.

Since this bag isn't lined, I decided to do french seams on the sides. To do this, lay the front and back panels with WRONG sides together, so right sides facing out, and sew a 1/4 inch seam down each side only.
Turn the bag so that RIGHT sides are facing in and WRONG sides are facing out. Press well. Then sew a 1/2 inch seam down one side, across the bottom and up the other side. It's very important that this seam be wider than the previous seams so that the previous seam will be enclosed.

Serge or zig-zag to finish the bottom seam and turn bag right side out. Press.

Now set the bag aside and let's work on the straps. First, fold strap in half lengthwise, open the fold up and fold edges again towards the center fold. You should end up with a 1 inch x 16 inch strap. Sew along both edges.

Now that the straps are ready, take the main body of the bag and serge or zig-zag around the top. Then fold the top towards the wrong side of the bag 1/2 inch to finish off the top.

Take each strap and fold the raw edge in about 1/2 inch. Then pin 3 inches in from the edge of the bag.
Sew 2 seams across the top to secure the straps in place.

Sew your button about 3 inches above the elastic and you're done!
Fold your bag up and throw it in your purse.


I'm a finalist!

I'm so excited to be a finalist over at Rae's Spring Top Sewalong!

Voting starts Monday morning 9AM EST. This top will be up for voting on Monday, but there will be a new batch on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Go check it out


Another Spring Top

So, you may remember I mentioned in a previous post that I am slightly obsessive about some things. Not in a good way where I'm meticulous, but more in a way where I'm super busy but still feel a NEED to make more tops for Rae's Spring Top Sewalong. What's wrong with me! So, I made another top, but this is it, no more. The limit is 3 anyway.....

I hate posing for photos, thank goodness my husband is a good sport. What's up with my pinkie finger?

In any case, I do really love this top. I used a top I bought last year in Switzerland. The fitted top and flared bottom I find really flattering on me. I left the bottom edge unfinished since knits don't unravel and I like the way it rolls a bit.

Here's an up close pic of the shirring on the top.

I thew this photo in just for kicks. I've never done one of these in the mirror shots. It's a little grainy because of the low light, but not a bad pic.

Anyway, go check out all the other great entries on Flickr. The deadline is Monday, and I'm 99.9% sure this is my last one.....