Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crafty Much?

I like to keep my hands busy every now and again with a fun craft project. I started sewing at a young age, much credit to the help of my mom. I've sewn the likes of a variety of items; my prom dress, Halloween costumes, curtains, multiple baby gifts and nursery items. I wouldn't exactly call my craft perfect. It's always a work in progress. While yelling at my sewing machine, there is always a lesson to be learned for next time. I daydream about finding a niche with one of my creations and selling it to the masses. But let's be real, sewers are a dime a dozen these days. Have you seen Etsy?!?! For now, I enjoy seeing a finished product, even with it's flaws. Even more so, I LOVE seeing the reaction of the recipients of my gifts.

As CT neared one year old I grew eager to get my hands busy with something new. My dear friend Molly told me about the book One Yard Wonders. My mom got it for my birthday and I quickly marked all the pages of the things I wanted to make.

A few baby showers were on the horizon, so I picked out a couple things that I thought the mothers-to-be would enjoy. I'll preface this by saying that these two items were completely out of my range of sewing projects. I usually steer clear of intricate detailed work. I can hardly sew a straight line, let alone masterfully assemble a tiny bird.

The first project to tackle was the bird mobile from OYW. We knew cousin Jenny was (is still) pregnant with a little girl (Olive, although that won't be her real name when she enters the world in January). I excitedly picked out fun, bright colored fabric. Since I didn't plan on documenting this project, I don't have step-by-step photos of it. I will say it was one of the more challenging sewing projects that I've attempted. But, the finished product was adorable!! I don't plan on making another, but that makes it even more special and one-of-a-kind for Jenny, Dan and baby Olive. I hope she loves it!

The second project that I marked in the book was Elodie the Elephant. I decided to make it for our friends Becca and Erik's baby girl who will be arriving very soon. Becca mentioned that she didn't want to go the traditional route for decorating the nursery. So I knew I could pick a non-baby themed fabric and have fun playing with different colors and fabric.

This is what I ended up with.

Elodie was fun to make. Sewing the head on the body was very challenging and I had to go back over it sewing by hand a few times to make sure it was secure. Sewing the ears on were the final step, and it certainly made the whole elephant come together. I'm happy with it. If an opportunity presents itself to make another Elodie the Elephant, I will probably try it again. Although, there are still plenty of other fun patterns to try in the book.

Over Thanksgiving, I packed my sewing supplies away to make room for the holiday festivities. Meaning, I transferred them from the kitchen table where I do all my sewing, back upstairs to my sewing table in the guest bedroom. I wasn't ready to start something new over the holiday and I wanted to keep my kitchen table relatively project free for a while. That didn't last long once I read Jill at Baby Rabies post about making a Felt Pomp Wreath, I thought, "I can totally do that." It doesn't require hauling out my sewing machine and it looks like a big impact with little effort.

True to my nature, it took me a few trips to the fabric store and Michael's to get all the supplies needed to make the wreath. I always either forget something or don't get enough of another. I really wanted to find the sparkle felt that Jill used, alas Hancock did not have it. And I wasn't going to trek to the other side of town to go to JoAnn's. I'd come this far, I was going to get it done this week if it killed me.

Cutting out the 4x4 inch squares wasn't as smooth as Jill made it sound. Mostly because I don't have a "bitch-ass" (as Jill refers to it) rotary tool. Once the felt squares were cut out, I started working my way around the wreath pomping close together. Only burning my fingers with hot glue a handful of times. I think I pomped the first row too closely because I only had enough felt for 3 rows, unlike the 4 rows that Jill suggested. Anyway, I'm fairly satisfied with how it turned out. I will likely make it again for another holiday or for a gift. I'll know what worked best and what to do differently the second time around.

Since we live in the frozen tundra, my pretty new felt wreath would get slammed with snow if it were hung on our front door. So I'm currently scoping spots to hang it inside with the rest of my Christmas decorations.


  1. Beautiful!! I really like the green. I wanted to do green, too, but all we had was super dark. Hope you find the perfect place for it soon :)

  2. These are beautiful Mandy! I'm very impressed! You need to document your projects more often. As the recipient of your handmade projects (onesies & burp cloths) it IS very special receiving OOAK gifts :).

  3. The wreath turned out great! Can't wait to see how you add the other decorations!

  4. The bird mobile and Elodie are two projects I want to do!! Yours turned out soooo cute!! I actually bought one of those "bitch-ass" rotary tools yesterday! I haven't used it yet, but I'll let you know how it works. ;)

  5. The "bitch-ass" rotary tool kicks ass! Love it!!