Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Yard So Beautiful May 22, 2013

Filed under: around the home — faithandfamily @ 6:57 pm


Well, I haven’t been sewing lately, so this blog has been pretty quiet for a while. I have so many sewing projects on my “to do” list that I can’t wait to tackle, but in the meantime I’ve been focusing on more important things like our home school year, vacationing, playing with the kids, and cleaning out places in our house that have been needing the attention. I have high hopes of lots of sewing time this summer, though.

In the midst of all that, my husband recently used his creative skills in our back yard, and since this blog celebrates handmade goodness, I figured it’d be appropriate to post about his handmade project that has really improved our backyard.




We have a creek back there and lots of trees, and we starting brainstorming about how to make that area more pleasant. The idea of a patio and fire pit sprouted, and then I started pinning all kinds of images to a Pinterest board. We sketched out what we’d like to do, and then my husband started reading articles and Youtube videos so that he’d do it right. The project involved digging out soil, putting in some drainage (since we have natural springs under our yard), filling it in with lots of crushed rock and sand, leveling it, laying the pavers and then filling the cracks with a bonding sand. Our pavers came from Home Depot, and there were lots of pamphlets and instructions there, too. It was a lot of hard work, but my husband enjoyed it and is really proud of what he was able to accomplish.



i-pod Case March 26, 2012

Filed under: around the home — faithandfamily @ 6:35 pm

I’ve had a simple i-pod for several years, but a few weeks ago when I was about to go out for a walk/run, I dropped it and killed it. Boo-hoo. Well, the good news is that my husband swiftly bought me a much nicer i-pod, so I’m back in business. I knew I needed some kind of case for it in order to keep it in my purse, so, of course, I decided to sew one. I love Amy’s blog at During Quiet Time, and I decided to use her free tutorial. (Hers is so adorable, don’t you think?) It took me about 15 minutes to make, which is good, because that’s about all the time I had to spare today! 😉 I just went with whatever I had in my stash and had to use black velcro because I was out of white.



New Valance February 29, 2012

Filed under: around the home — faithandfamily @ 2:44 am

First of all, did you know that JoAnn Fabrics (at least the one near us) will take a Hobby Lobby 40% coupon and stack it on top of a JoAnn’s 20% off coupon to give you 60% off one item? This is valuable information, indeed. I had a very successful shopping trip last Saturday with all my JoAnn coupons, plus the Hobby Lobby one a nice customer in the store shared with me!

Also, JoAnn finally has Star Wars fabric. This makes my son extremely happy.

I found some decorator fabric on the clearance aisle that I really liked. It kind of matches my whole house, so I knew I could use it just about anywhere. However, I decided to use it in the room in my house that doesn’t match anything. I made a valance for the window in our school room. I’ve hated the old valance since the day I hung it. The problem is….I chose a very vibrant, alive color for our school room, and since we’ve painted it, I’ve never found a fabric that I like that actually goes with it. So….here’s my new valance.

So…it still doesn’t match the room, right? But you should’ve seen the old valance. This is an improvement.

We probably just need to repaint the walls. 🙂


Fabric Jackpot! May 1, 2011

Filed under: around the home — faithandfamily @ 5:28 pm

Yesterday our neighborhood had a community yard sale, and I found a whole basket full of nice decorator fabrics at one sale. I asked the woman how much she wanted to take the whole pile off her hands, and she suggested $10. Sold! My friend Kelley and I are splitting the stash. I can’t wait to see what projects we come up with.


Hooded Bath Towels for Babies and Kids September 3, 2010

Filed under: around the home,baby stuff,kids' stuff — faithandfamily @ 7:18 pm

A hooded bath towel is so easy to make and can be a nice shower gift or a fun thing to make for your own kids. A personalized bath towel is great for babies (much better than those teeny, thin things they sell in the store), and your child will continue to love it when he gets bigger too.

Here’s how to make one:

You will need:

One bath towel
half a hand towel (Hint: Buy two bath towels and one hand towel, and you will be able to make two hooded towels.)
a coordinating color of thread


Here is a picture of the directions I wrote out for myself. (Sorry–I’m not blog-savvy enough to know how to use drawing tools to illustrate my directions. Please bear with me as I update my technology abilities at a geriatric rate.):

Fold your hand towel in half using a “hamburger fold.” Cut the hand towel in half along that fold line. You now have 2 hoods.

The ragged edge of the hand towel will form the top seam of the hood. Take the side that is opposite the ragged side and pin it to the bath towel. You will center it on one of the long sides of the bath towel. I prefer to sew the bath towel directly on top of the hood piece.

Next, you will fold the hood top in half (right sides together, of course!) and sew the top seam of the hood, leaving the ragged edges in the inside. (I’ve found that I needed to sew this seam a couple of times to keep it from unraveling or from leaving a hole in the hood.)

The two towels I’ve pictured came from Target, but I usually  like to buy towels at a store like T.J. Maxx or Ross. I often find high-quality towels there that have beautiful designs on them. If you end up buying more plain-looking towels, you can add embellishments. Though you probably can’t tell from the pictures, the pink towel pictured with the older girl above has a decorative strip sewn on that I made using a piece of fabric that had red and pink hearts on it.


Fabric Dyeing August 27, 2010

Filed under: around the home,Recycle/Repurpose — faithandfamily @ 1:31 am

A month or so ago I found this tutorial on dyeing fabric and knew it was something I’d have to try sooner or later. Well, this was the week!

I started going around the house, looking for things to dye, and I felt the same ravenous feeling as when I’m going around the house looking for stuff to stick in a garage sale. (In other words, my kids were trembling in their boots and hiding all their stuff. :)) Ok, I’m joking about that part. They were actually timidly excited and my son wanted to make sure that I had something of his to stick in the dye. So, here is the before picture:

The pink shirt was the impetus that got it all started. I had bought it for my daughter several months ago, and the first time I washed it, I put it in the washer with some new jeans. Yep–you guessed it. The new pink shirt has blue streaks in several places that wouldn’t come out. It was ruined unless I could do something creative to rescue it.

The white jacket is something I’ve had for 8-ish years and have hardly worn, mostly because it’s white. One brush against the car door and it’s filthy; one hug from a sticky-fingered child and it’s stained. I decided that since it just sits in the closet, nothing could be lost from trying to dye it.

The onesie was kind of stained, and the hand towel was too plain, and the shorts were thrown in just so my son could be represented. (Plus, I thought it would be fun to see what would happen to a darker garment.) I was so excited to try dyeing, and I must say that my first experience was a winner!

I used half the bottle of Rit dye and after about four hours I took the towel, shorts, and onesie out of the dye. I was trying to make room for the jacket and shirt because both appeared to have lighter spots on them from being sort of wadded up in the bucket I used. The wiser part of me had told myself not to fill the bucket so full of clothes, and the tight-wad part of me (which won out) had told myself to put as many things in the bucket as I could fit. Well, the wiser part of me (along with the advice of my wise husband) decided to, after four hours, get a bigger bucket out of the crawl space and use the other half of the bottle to make sure the jacket and shirt had lots of room to spread out and the best chance of turning out well. So, I soaked those two things for an extra hour, and that did the trick. They look great!

The shirt was probably the greatest success. It looks like it was made to be brown. I’m not sure yet what I think about the jacket. I haven’t decided whether I did something really cool or whether I turned my once-delicate-and-feminine white jacket into something that looks kind of Carhartt-ish. Oh well. Nothing lost. It was a fun process, and I’ll be test-driving the jacket for a little while before the final verdict is in.


Two New Quilts August 21, 2010

Filed under: around the home,kids' stuff,quilts — faithandfamily @ 2:03 pm

About a month ago, some good friends of ours who live in Thailand visited us. Their almost-six-year-old had with him his favorite blanket–a quilt I had made for him when he was a baby! His parents said that it’s still his favorite. Well, I was really moved by the fact that the quilt I had lovingly made was being loved so well. So…I decided to make a couple more for two of his siblings, in the hopes that they will convey love in the same way the original quilt did. Both of these quilts are ones I had started four years ago but had abandoned for various reasons.

Blankets are definitely a comfort object for me, and how much more comforting a warm, soft blanket is when you know it was made lovingly with you in mind!

Well, here is the first quilt I completed. This is for a 3-year-old boy. I had actually started this one for my own son about four years ago. I was really glad to finish it for another special little boy.

And this one is for an 8-year-old girl. When she stayed at our house, one night she was looking for a blanket and I handed her a quilt my husband’s aunt had made and thoughtlessly said, “Here. This is a good blanket.” And she said meaningfully, “It IS a good one!” I hope she’ll think this is a good one too!