Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Ballet Stocking December 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 3:25 pm

My daughter is involved in a “Secret Santa” exchange at her ballet studio, so I scoured PInterest, trying to find a cute idea for a unique gift. I saw this idea for a ballet-inspired stocking on Martha Stewart’s website, and, in my maybe-not-so humble opinion, I like mine better!


I drew the foot and tried to make the foot a little prettier and the ballet shoe a little more realistic-looking than Martha’s. We used ballet pink, because who wears blue ballet shoes anyway? My daughter did the sewing on one, and then I quickly made two more, since my youngest wanted one and I decided to make one for her ballet teacher’s baby. These came together so quickly that I made the other two in about 10 minutes. We used felt and skinny ribbon. These will be a nice gift during Nutcracker week. Maybe we’ll fill them with gifts from the Land of Sweets!


Adam’s Quilt August 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 7:36 pm

I recently finished a quilt for my brother Adam. When I told him last Christmas that I was planning on making him a quilt, he already had an idea in his head of what type of quilt he would most like. He sent me this picture from the internet for inspiration:


He told me that he wanted it to look like something you would find in a country lodge or cabin, and he wanted it to have appliqued animals on it. I had never done applique before, so I was a bit intimidated, but I was willing to give it a try. First I shopped for cute plaids, then I did an internet search to look for some applique shapes that I could use on the quilt. I used this tutorial from the internet to learn how to do machine applique. It was pretty easy and fun. In the square with the log cabin on it, I also used a technique called paper piecing to to make the log cabin. I had done paper piecing years ago, but I watched this youtube video to refresh my memory on how to do it.

And here is the finished quilt:


I’m very happy with it, and, if I do say so myself, I think it’s even cuter than the quilt that I used for inspiration!

Sweet dreams under your new quilt, little brother!



Laptop Cover September 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 12:01 am

I made myself a cute laptop cover recently. Hopefully it’s keeping my laptop a little more safe, but it’s definitely making it a little cuter!


The Sorbetto Top April 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized,women's clothes — faithandfamily @ 12:51 am

I recently made two tops using the easy, free pattern for the Sorbetto top. If you are afraid of sewing clothing, then you really must try this top, because it’s super-easy, and you just can’t go wrong, as long as you follow a few tips I learned from some seamstresses who made it before I did.

(I used an embroidered cotton I found at JoAnn’s for the white top, and the second one is an Anna Maria Horner Little Folks Voile. I used packaged bias tape for the white top and made my own with the second top.)

Colette’s pattern is well-written and easy to follow, even if you’re a beginner. The pattern is designed to be very tailored, and I like that. When I measured myself, I figured I needed to cut out a size 2. (Thanks for the flattery, Colette! ;)) That size ended up being perfect. A few reviewers, however, had mentioned that the darts are too high, so I ended up using the largest size darts, which was size 18. Other reviewers mentioned that they wanted the blouse to be longer, so I cut out a size 12 in length, but I actually wish I would’ve just cut out the 18 in the length as well.

And, of course, I didn’t forget to sew an adorable label into each of my new blouses.

What are you waiting for? Go find some cute fabric and start printing the Sorbetto pattern! 🙂


*Squeal!* (My Labels are Here!) March 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 7:13 pm

I’ve had clothing labels on my wishlist for a while now, but I’ve never been able to justify spending money on something that seems so superfluous for me (since I never make money on my sewing.) When Ashley from Make-It-And-Love-It posted about her labels, I kept her post in the back of my mind, thinking that someday I would order some.

Well, fast-forward a year, and I sold a bunch of baby stuff at a consignment sale this February. I made about $75, and after the sale I started thinking about what I might spend my earnings on. Suddenly I thought of the labels and remembered that they cost $70 for 300 labels. So…I got to work researching, making sure those were the ones I really wanted, and then I put in my order.

I ended up ordering the same type of label that Ashley ordered. (I am definitely a copycat and not an originator!) I chose a loop-folded label, 1.5″ wide x .5″ tall. These labels are completely customizable, as far as design, size, etc. This was a bit scary to me, because I have absolutely no design experience and am a better critic than creator, but all I really wanted was a pretty font (I chose Miama, fyi) and the ability to choose colors, so I figured I could handle that. And since my brother-in-law is a graphic designer, I knew he could bail me out if I got in too deep.

The people at World Wide Label were great to work with and we went back and forth with emails several times to make sure I was getting what I wanted. The wait time is quite long–it took about 3 weeks for the label to be ready once I had signed off on the design, and then shipping took a couple of weeks too (from Hong Kong.) But I’m so excited to have my labels in hand, and they look so much prettier in person than they did when the company sent me a picture via email. I can’t wait to sew them into everything I make!


Kelsie’s Quilt January 30, 2012

Filed under: quilts,Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 4:18 pm

This week I finished my first free-motion quilt! I learned how to free-motion last week in my sewing class. I practiced during the class, and then I came home and went right to work on this quilt. The teacher advised lots of practice first, but I knew that this quilt would be a great way to practice, and I think it turned out great!

I didn’t use any particular free-motion pattern. I just kind of wandered around, doing swirls and loops.

I like to use sheets for the backs of my quilts, because you just can’t beat the fabric price per yard. I found this cozy Laura Ashley flannel sheet at Ross on sale.I don’t think I could’ve found anything more perfect for this quilt. And the best part is that I have the whole fitted sheet and part of the flat sheet leftover for another project.

I made a matching pillow cover too, out of the flannel backing fabric, so that little Kelsie will have a matching pillow, just her size, to go with her quilt.

I can’t wait to put these in the mail this week. I’ve got something I need to make my mom, to slip in the package, before I mail it, and hopefully I’ll get that done soon!

(By the way, Terrie, I took your fabulous advice and taped the backing to the floor when I was putting all the layers together. Wow! It worked beautifully!)


My New Janome 3160 QDC January 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — faithandfamily @ 5:24 pm

My sweet husband bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas! I was as excited as my 6-year-old self was, 30 years ago, to get a new purple bike called “Dusty Rose.” 🙂

My husband and I had been talking about buying me one sometime within the next couple of months, and when he kept pressing me to go to the store and figure out which model I wanted, I did suspect that he might buy it for me for Christmas, but I really wasn’t confident about it.

Here’s my old machine:

My old machine is a basic Singer, which my mother-in-law bought me when my husband and I were engaged. It has been a great machine, and I sewed for many happy hours on it, but the main reason I wanted to upgrade was that I wanted to be able to do free-motion quilting.

Here’s my new machine:

It’s a Janome 3160 QDC. I love this thing! I never knew what I had been missing! Here are some of the things I can do with this machine that I couldn’t do with my other machine:

  • needle up/down button (love this!)
  • an advanced feed system that keeps me straight, especially when backstitching
  • beautiful overlock stitches!!!!!! (I’ve decided that I don’t need a serger after all!)
  • the ability to drop the feeds and free-motion quilt with a darning foot
  • easy button holes
  • stretch stitches for knits
  • automatic cutter

One nice thing about buying from a quilt shop is that I get free classes. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about sewing, but in my first class I had a blast and learned a lot about using my machine to its fullest.

If you’re looking at this model, I recommend it. It has most of the features the higher-end machines have, for 1/3 the price. It is a lighter machine, which means it doesn’t have as much heavy metal inside, and anyone will tell you that the more metal inside, the better made it is. That did give me pause before choosing this model; however, this machine has the same warranty as any other Janome machine, and I have enough confidence in the company to feel like this machine will last me for many, many years. After all, I was very happy with my basic Singer for more than 10 years, so I think this Janome is going to suit me just fine for quite a while.

And my Singer still runs like a champ, so I’ve given it to my 8-year-old daughter, who is thrilled. I’m excited about sewing side-by-side with her.