Wednesday, May 25, 2011


My most recently completed projects have primarily been gifts so I have kept them under wraps.  The first of the gifts has been given so I can finally post about it!  I spent months searching for the perfect gift for my friend's little boy and when I stumbled on this tutorial only a day before our swap deadline, well, I had to make it.  He loves both Toy Story and horses so a Bullseye softie was perfect!

I used the Bullseye Tutorial from the Running with Scissors blog - with a few very minor tweaks.

2011-04-30_09-12-02_347 by Mama Hoot Designs
First, I used pipe cleaners (aka fuzzy sticks) twisted together because that's what I had on hand.  

Second, I added more hand sewing.  As a generalization I prefer not to rely on hot glue to hold together anything exposed to toddler abuse (see Toy Story 3 for reference).  So I glued and then also sewed.  I used a blanket stitch on the hooves, a straight stitch on the ears and french knots for the eye balls.  I did use a fabric marker for the nose.

I also learned a few things for the next time I make one - first, I placed the tail too high (my mistake, she shows you on the pattern where to put it, duh); second, don't forget to clip the curves before flipping it right side out (again, I just needed to read the tutorial, duh); third, pay more attention to the front curve, mine came out much flatter in the front than hers.  Oh and I would really like to make a leather saddle next time, I didn't have any scraps on hand so I would like to get some.

Overall it was fun to make and I am told it is much appreciated.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Fix It Box

At the bottom of the closet in my sewing room there are three boxes, they are all full.  One is a box of clothing that waits to be repurposed into new items; one is a box of items ready to be gifted to new homes; and one is a box of items waiting to be fixed.  The "Fix It" box gathers lots and lots of dust.  It's the utilitarian side of sewing that just isn't attractive to me.  It's work.

I would much rather start on a cute new dress than sit down a hem some pants, mend some holes or sew on a button.  The sad reality is that once something gets to the Fix It box then it will probably not be seen again for a long, long time.  I know I need to change that.  I recently reorganized the whole room and went through the Fix It box.  Interestingly enough my husband just asked about a pair of his shorts that have been in the box since last summer.  They were mended but I needed to repair the pocket.  It took me less than 5 minutes to get the shorts ready for him to wear.  Why have I put this off so long?!

So I made a new commitment to myself - I promised to take one thing out of the Fix It box and fix it (in its entirety) before moving on to my new, fun project.  Today's Fix It - a button on a different pair of my husband's shorts.  It seemed to be the most immediate need.  Again it took only minutes and now I'm off to re-try the Snappy Toddler Top from Prudent Baby.  Those dag-blasted snaps are giving me grief!!!

What about you?  Do you have a similar box somewhere in your house?  I challenge you to find a way to tackle it!  Let's see if we can get that box emptied out!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Everybody Needs A Little Time Away

After a bit of time away from sewing and blogging, I'm coming back.  I haven't been completely idle in my studio but I have shifted gears and slowed way down.  In fact, I have very few completed projects over the past few months.  And I have quite a few half-finished projects just waiting for me.  So in the spirit of productivity and to overcome my great Indecision lately...I took a cue from Stitched in Color's recent blog post and made A Sewing List.  Well, actually, mine is a Crafting List because it isn't exclusively sewing.

Also, if you haven't heard, I am just about 4 months pregnant, so I know that my list is for projects to be completed before baby's arrival in late October. 

My List
  1. Two Maternity Dresses - Mariposa Dress and Empire Waist Dress
  2. Blossom Blouse for myself and Lil Hoot
  3. Sun Hats for myself and Lil Hoot
  4. Central Park Quilt for Lil Hoot's room and some throw pillows/pillow shams.
  5. Spectrum Quilt for our new baby, The Kid
  6. Collaborative Wall Art with Lil Hoot for her new room
  7. Finish Lil Hoot's Robin Hood Jacket
  8. Knit a sweater for The Kid
I could go on but I feel like since these were the first to come to mind then I should stop here and focus on these.

But I realized I couldn't just make one list.  I enjoy making things for others and already have plans for several things for others and their young 'uns.

For Others List
  1. Camera Bag
  2. Two Growth Charts
  3. Three Summer Dresses
  4. Two Mini-Quilts
  5. Henny Penny
  6. Crib Quilt
All is subject to change of course, but I'm hoping this will help me get moving forward.