Friday, July 27, 2012

Favorite Thing Friday - KAM Snaps

KAM Snaps and snap pliers are a relatively new tool for me. I just love them though. I can't believe I've been sewing and crafting this long without them!

They are easy peasy to do. I borrowed by sister-in-laws metal snap pliers before I bought my KAM Snap pliers and it was a bit confusing. I had to read the directions each time I went to put on a snap to make sure I had it right, but with KAM snaps it isn't confusing at all. Really simple actually.


All you do is poke a hole in each side of the fabric using the auger tool.

Poke the backside of the snap through this hole.

Put the inside portion of the snap over the pokey part sticking through the hole.

Put the pliers over the top and bottom.

Apply firm pressure with the pliers.

You're done.

Do the same for the other side, using the other inside piece.

They look so professional and the color selection is great!

Cost is very reasonable.

I use them on bibs, bags, paci holders, diapers, and to add accessories to clothes?

If you try them I'm sure you'll list them as a favorite too.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day Trip - Bay St. Louis, MS

Well if you checked yesterday you may have noticed that the blog went without a post all day. That's because I was doing something more important, taking the kiddos on an day trip. We packed up and left out very early for one mom and 3 kiddos (8:40 A.M.) We picked up Nana on the way out of town and went looking for adventure. We met up with my Aunt and cousin and decided to set our aim on the town of Bay St. Louis, MS. Our first stop was The Mockingbird Cafe for lunch. They have local art on every wall, and I enjoyed checking it all out while waiting for our food to arrive.

Afterwards we set out walking in what they call "old town". There are several shops here just about a block and a half from the beach, all located in historic buildings which survived Hurricane Katrina. We shopped antiques and collectibles, soaps and lotions, some really neat painted furniture, and even saw a Mississippi Pickle Fork! My favorite stop though was a local artists' cooperative.
The art ranged from pottery to paintings to mosaic mirrors and metal sculptures of animals made from old kitchen items (really fun and cute), but of course my purchase was pottery. It was after all, one of my first loves.

This hand built zebra spoke to me, so for now he lives at my kitchen window. One of the only spots in the house I feel he won't get broken. I love the dark clay, ribbed body, and multi-color glaze of this piece. My aunt found a Katrina Cross (wish I took a photo) with a poem attached, the piece was roughly the shape of a cross with a hand painted palm tree that reached onto each cross limb. It's a neat memento for people of this area.

On the way back, we stopped by the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast campus in Longbeach, MS to visit the "Friendship Tree". My mom remembers it from childhood. It is really very huge and was a sapling at the time that Christopher Columbus discovered the new world!

It felt neat on his feet! I guess the first time he felt a tree, quite a big deal for the son of a forester.

Inspiration for the girls' winter wardrobe.

It was a fun day for the adults and the kiddos loved it too. A successful trip by my standards!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Superhero fun!


The latest birthday present I've made is this really fun superhero outfit. I purchased the in-the-hoop file from Planet Appliqué for the mask and wrist cuffs. I think I only paid $4 at the introductory price. It is only $2 today! The file gives you the option of lightning bolts, stars, hearts, or flowers. The superhero alphabet I used on the cape was free with a $5 purchase. And that was definately not a problem to reach.


I used a tutorial for the cape by Georgia Leah. It did not show how to shape the shoulders and neck, so I used my model to make a newspaper pattern. This method worked, but did not give much growing room. Next time I'll make it looser around the neck and shoulders.


Then I pinned this on my fabric and measured down about 26 inches from the shoulder, then I cut a straight cut across the fabric.

At the bottom I measured 10 inches for the width and made a cut from the left corner towards the neck, making a triangular shape.

This is what it looks like unfolded.

After doing the appliqué I used tons of pins to hold them right sides together, sewed around leaving a turning hole, trimmed seams, turned, top stitched, added Velcro and the lightning decal I made with the embroidery machine, and it was done.

Little lightning loves his super hero outfit! I hear he's been busy running around the house showing off his super muscles.

The other options are so cute too. My girls can't wait for their pink capes.

I am envisioning a super hero family this Halloween.


Monday, July 23, 2012

5 Places to Find CHEAP Fabric

Sewing is definitely my favorite past time, but if you sew constantly it could take a fortune to keep a supply of cute fabric. I love nothing more than sewing up a new project and knowing I only have $X in it. I often give handmade gifts that cost me only a few dollars, but the time I spent sewing makes up for the rest. So where do I find all of this cute and inexpensive fabric?

ONE. Salvage stores- these are my absolute favorite place to shop. If I only get one stop while out shopping, I make it a salvage store (like Dirt Cheap or Hudson's Salvage in my local area). At these stores I buy sheets (flat and fitted, take the elastic out of a fitted and use it in projects that don't require tight fitting elastic), curtain panels, shower curtains, pillowcases, towels, tablecloths, napkins, baby blankets, duvet covers, and pillow shams. I cut these up and sew bags, dresses, shorts, quilts, bed skirts and crib skirts, burp cloths, bibs, pillow covers, and ruffles. I've also made a bulletin board using shower curtain fabric, but my favorite salvage store find to date is actually a no-sew idea. I bought two matching tablecloths and hung them from rings with clips as my master bedroom curtains. They really make the room! I usually spend anywhere from $1-$7 per item depending on how long they've been hanging around the store. I dare you to find fabric cheaper per yard anywhere else.

TWO. Closets- this can include yours, family members, and friends. Look at old pieces of clothing and see if you can find a way to transform them into something new. Tutorial coming soon. Before friends and family get rid of old items ask to go through them for possible fabric.
THREE. Thrift stores. I used to shop thrift stores a lot during college, I definitely had little $ to spend then. In a college town there always seemed to be tons of t-shirts in the thrift stores. Oh the cloth diapers I could have made... I still own two pieces of furniture that came from thrift stores, and sadly when i got married I had to get rid of a little love seat that I reupholstered. I loved that love seat, but my 6'5" husband did not.
FOUR. Yard sales- Look for all the same items as listed above, and you may get lucky too. I once found an ad for a yard sale that promised fabric, and boy did I strike it rich. A nice lady was getting out of the business of sewing children's clothes. I got tons of fabric, trims, blank shirts for monogramming, and even a mannequin. At times like this you can stop back at the end of the sale and make an offer for whatever is left. You can get great deals, because no one wants to pack it all back up again.
FIVE. Big chain stores- The big name fabric stores runs tons of sales. Sign up for the newsletters, flyers, emails, and coupons. Shop when what you need is on sale. I only buy my favorite thread when it is 40-50% off. I try to never buy a piece of fabric at full price because in my town there is always a coupon available for 40% off any one cut of fabric. I stock up on other notions when they are on sale also.
I do occasionally splurge and buy awesome designer fabric at my favorite little quilt and machine shop, Kelley's Pins and Needles. You should shop it too if you are in my local area. They are super sweet and will set you up with whatever you need. It's like my philosophy of life, "all things in moderation" whether they may be cute fabric, delicious dessert, or beautiful pottery.

Happy sewing!!!